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Music for Life - The Impact of Music on the Wellbeing of Deaf Young People Conference

Friday 27 February 2015 9.30am to 4.30pm
National Centre for Early Music, St Margaret's Church, Walmgate, York YO1 9TL

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Music for Life - The Impact of Music on the Wellbeing of Deaf Young People

This was the second national conference organised by Music4U, Youth Music's Musical Inclusion programme for York and the Humber Region, focusing on the benefits of music provision for deaf children and young people.

This conference was aimed at professionals working with deaf young people and takes as its theme deafness, music and wellbeing.

Invited speakers looked at the challenges deaf young people face and how music can promote improved mental and emotional wellbeing. Conductor Charles Hazlewood, who founded the British Paraorchestra - the world's first ever orchestra for virtuoso musicians with disabilities which closed the London 2012 Paralympics - was the keynote speaker. He was joined by other expert presenters including: Barry Wright, Professor of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry at Hull York Medical School, talking about the wellbeing issues deaf young people face; Mary Bell and Teresa Brasier from Drake Music Scotland focusing on the practicalities of teaching instrumental music using the Figurenotes system; Ali Harmer and Ceilidh-Jo Rowe from Gloucester Music Makers presenting her Youth Music-funded project, 'Playing Around Sound', which aims to establish a music repertoire for children with cochlear implants; Jonathan Heale, from Advanced Communication Solutions, talking about the 'Play Safe Now - Hear Tomorrow' campaign which raises awareness about exposure to loud sound levels in music education; and Dr Chris Barlow, from Southampton Solent University, discussing the risks and opportunities of using mobile devices for listening to music.

There were also be performances from York's new Singing and Signing Choir and the Sirius Academy in Hull supported by Music and the Deaf and opportunities to visit marketplace stalls which feature information and resources for deaf young people. The York choir was set up by Helen Martin, teacher of the deaf, working as part of the City of York Council's Deaf and Hearing Support Team and peripatetic music teacher Molly Newton and working with deaf children and their teachers/teaching assistants across the City as was formed as a result of the Music to Young Ears Conference in 2013. The choir gives the children a chance to get together with a 'deaf peer group', which is important to their confidence and self esteem.

There was also the opportunity to find out more about the musical lives of three young deaf role models.

To see the full conference programme click on the link below.

To read the press release about the conference click here

This conference is supported by The Holbeck Charitable Trust, The Charles Ruddock Trust, Frances Drake of York Lodge, Sir James Reckitt Charity, The Radcliffe Trust and the Rotary Club of York