National Centre for Early Music

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I Can Play!


Danny Lane leads training for local music teachers at NCEM

Music4U and Danny Lane on the NDCS Listening Bus

Music4U supports a young drummer from Sirius Academy IPaSS Unit

"Hearing loss shouldn't be a barrier to enjoying and making music. It is proven that participation in music can play a crucial role in a person's development: it promotes inclusivity, teaches young people how to work together, builds confidence, develops communications skills, and provides a vital outlet for self-expression" - Music and the Deaf

I Can Play! is a project that helps deaf children and those with a hearing impairment to access music making opportunities across York, Hull and the East Riding of Yorkshire. It is a collaborative project run as part of the National Centre for Early Music's Music4U programme, in partnership with Music & the Deaf, regional Music Hubs and York Deaf & Hearing Support Service. This project builds on a four-year programme of research and development activity, investigating the levels of provision and barriers to making music for deaf children and young people in the Music4U region, and exploring ways of enabling greater participation.

Through this project, deaf children and young people will have the opportunity to:
  • Try out instruments and participate in music-making activities and workshops;
  • Find out about the opportunities to access instrumental learning and music-making in their local area;
  • Meet instrumental tutors and increase their knowledge and confidence about making music;
  • Be introduced to role models in the music-making community, including professional deaf musicians and music leaders;
  • Participate and perform through music workshops and sharing events;
  • Share the experience with their families, teachers and carers, who will also develop their knowledge and confidence around accessing music-making opportunities.

Music4U understands the need to also support professionals, ensuring they have the confidence and skills to provide excellence in teaching deaf young people. Through the I Can Play! project, local music teachers and community musicians will:
  • Have the opportunity to take part in training and shadowing activities in order to develop their knowledge, skills and confidence in working with deaf children and young people;
  • Connect with deaf musicians and music leaders, and understand more about the training and support that is available to develop their skills in this area;
  • Develop their knowledge of the potential as well as the barriers that exist regarding deaf children and young people beginning and continuing their musical journey;
  • Support deaf children and young people to access the range of instrumental learning opportunities that exist;
  • Develop new partnerships and connections with families, teachers and carers of deaf children and young people and have access to better communication pathways to encourage and sustain engagement with music making among deaf children and young people.

I Can Play! is supported by the National Foundation for Youth Music, as part of the Music4U programme.