Charity launches new music resource for deaf children

A new resource for music teachers and practitioners has been launched today by the National Deaf Children’s Society (NDCS), to help encourage the inclusion of deaf children in music activities.

How to make music activities accessible for deaf children and young people is the first guide of its kind. It aims to show music professionals that children with hearing loss can enjoy music as well as other children.

Available at www.ndcs.org.uk/music, the resource provides practical tips on how to teach deaf children to play music and sing in individual tuitions and group work. It includes inspirational stories of deaf young musicians, whilst offering guidance as to how music teachers can adapt their activities to include deaf children.

Parents have reported that their deaf children often miss out on taking part in music or singing classes because music teachers do not know how to address the needs of a deaf child, and often have low expectations of what they can achieve.

Hayley Jarvis, Head of Inclusive Activities at NDCS, said: “Involving deaf children in music and singing classes can help them feel more confident, learn a new skill and explore the world around them. Sadly, too many deaf children are denied the opportunity to experience music and develop their skills, be it singing, DJ-ing or playing piano, leaving them feeling isolated and sad.

“By following simple steps, like using hand gestures or visual aids, music teachers and practitioners can open up the world of music to deaf children. Deafness is not a barrier to enjoying music in any form and we hope teachers will welcome this exciting new resource and help create equal opportunities for deaf children.”

Nigel M Taylor, Chair of The UK Association for Music Education – Music Mark, said:  “All children and young people have the right to an excellent music education and it is vital that professionals understand how to make lessons and activities as accessible as possible.

“The NDCS resource How to make music activities accessible for deaf children and young people is an excellent guide that will help music professionals develop confidence in supporting the music education of deaf children and young people. I am delighted to support this new resource and I hope you will enjoy reading it and use the strategies and top tips while making music with deaf children.”

There are more than 45,000 deaf children in the UK. Deaf children are vulnerable to low self-esteem, isolation and underachievement in school. However, with the right support, deaf children can thrive and achieve as well as other children.

How to make music activities accessible for deaf children and young people is part of the NDCS’s Me2 programme, which works with arts and leisure organisations across the UK to make them accessible to deaf children and young people.

To access the resource go to www.ndcs.org.uk/music or call the NDCS Freephone helpline on 0808 800 8880.

The National Deaf Children’s Society (NDCS) is the leading charity dedicated to creating a world without barriers for deaf children and their families. We work to ensure deaf children get the support they need by providing impartial advice to families about the range of communication methods open to them and by campaigning on their behalf.

For more information visit www.ndcs.org.uk. For further support, parents can contact the NDCS Freephone Helpline on 0808 800 8880 (voice and text), email helpline@ndcs.org.uk, or chat online at www.ndcs.org.uk/livechat

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