North East SEND Conference 2018

Sage Two

This is the second conference run by North East Music Education Hubs in partnership with Sage Gateshead. This year’s theme is ‘What is the place of music in SEND?’

The conference aims to bring together local, regional and national facilitators to deliver inspirational and practical workshops for schools staff, community leaders and anyone working with young people with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities to enrich their learning through meaningful musical experiences.

The keynote speaker is Paul Whittaker. Paul has been profoundly deaf all his life yet pursued a career as a musician. Initially a pianist and organist, he has a music degree from Wadham College, Oxford, a postgraduate performance diploma from the RNCM and holds ALCM and ARCO diplomas. In 1988 he founded “Music and the Deaf”, a charity to help deaf people enjoy music. In 2007 he was awarded an OBE for Services to Music.


Sue Simmonds (Sounds of Intent)
Sue Simmonds is a founder member of Soundabout. For the past 25 years she has been instrumental in developing and sustaining Soundabout’s mission to use sound and music to provide enabling opportunities for self-expression for all people with physical disabilities and sensory and complex needs across the age span. Her particular interest is in providing for those with profound and multiple learning disabilities (PMLD) and with Autism (ASD). Sue has been instilling confidence in those who support people with learning disabilities to believe that they can use musical ideas to provide meaningful opportunities for self-expression, active participation and building relationships.

Doug Bott, Barry Farrimond and Dr Clarence Adoo MBE (Open Orchestras)
Open Orchestras was created in 2013 to address a lack of ensemble musical provision in SEN schools. Doug Bott has specialised in accessible music making for disabled people since 2000 and has extensive experience as a music leader, arts manager, consultant and trainer for a range of organisations. Barry Farrimond has over 10 year’s experience developing, strengthening and leading social enterprise and third sector arts organisations and is respected as an authority on accessible music technology. Dr Clarence Adoo MBE is the Orchestral and Health Programme Leader at Sage Gateshead. He is also the Education Animateur with Royal Northern Sinfonia, Orchestra of Sage Gateshead.

Alison Hornblower (Nordoff Robbins Music Therapy)
Alison trained as a music therapist at the Nordoff Robbins Centre in London in 2005 and has since worked throughout the UK in both medical and non-medical settings with both children and adults who have various difficulties such as Autism, Profound and Multiple learning difficulties and Dementia. She has worked within the NHS providing music therapy in forensic and secure mental health settings as well as for the Local Authorities and Social Services. She is currently the manager for the Yorkshire and North East region of the charity and tutor for the nationally accredited Nordoff Robbins Master of Music Therapy training programme.

Susan Mann (Music Unlimited)
After a successful career in secondary education, Susan joined Music Unlimited in 1996. Since then she has worked in special schools throughout the North West delivering workshops, specialised projects and curriculum support to children and young adults. As a trainer she has worked for music services, Sing Up Merseyside, mainstream schools and special schools promoting inclusive practice in music making. Sue created the SEND scheme for Charanga music.

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