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A rare opportunity for autistic schools to enjoy the therapeutic effects of music live in the Abbey with professional musicians from the Orchestra of St John’s (OSJ) as part of their Music for Autism programme.

For over 20 years, under the committed leadership of John Lubbock, Music for Autism has provided a programme of accessible workshops delivered in special schools and designed specifically for young people with autism. OSJ Music for Autism engages with over 6,000 young people each year, and is offered entirely free of charge to participating schools.

Many people like to listen to music sitting absolutely still and silent, without any distractions, so that they can focus on the music.  But a significant number of other people, in particular young people with autism, prefer to move about, perhaps dancing or responding physically to the music, vocalising or whatever.  The consequence is that such people are usually unwelcome at formal ‘concert hall’ performances. As a result, their access to live classical music is limited – sometimes impossible. This is where Music for Autism makes such a difference.

The important difference is that the students can respond to the music exactly as they wish. They can sit up, lie down, move around or stand and stare. They can fidget if they wish – and some children use fidgeting as a strategy to help them concentrate, not as an indication of their boredom as is often assumed.  Nothing is forced; yet, with John Lubbock gently facilitating and encouraging throughout, the interaction between the children, the music and the musicians is very often a deeply moving experience.

People of all ages and abilities are welcome to come to this event.

If you need disabled parking or access do contact us here with your requirements.


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