As part of our rapidly expanding Education Program, we have just completed our first round of music and movement classes designed to provide access to the arts for adolescents with disability. Members of the ACO Ensemble (Daniel Yeadon, Veronique Serret, Zoe Black and Caroline Henbest), percussionist Claudia Chambers and facilitators Alix Armstrong and Jennifer Powell were joined by eager class members to collaborate over two days in an inclusive and creative environment.
The pilot program was devised and run by ACO full time staff member Dean Watson and the workshops were held in the safe, professional environment of the ACO studios in Circular Quay.
Those who took part thoroughly enjoyed the dance and music elements while learning in a fun setting. The ACO’s senior management and board were so pleased with the outcomes, they have committed to incorporating the workshops into the ACO’s education program. The classes are in keeping with the ACO’s Disability Action Plan, which commits us to providing access to venues, programs and information. Keep an eye out on the ACO’s website and Facebook page for details of future music and movement classes.
Here is some of the lovely feedback from a teacher and the parents of those who took part:
“One of my students says she is starting to ‘hear’ music in her daily life and thinking of what movement she can make.”
“I was impressed by the time you took to cement each step so that a layered work could be produced, with the core elements solid … Also impressive was your awareness of the varying group dynamics and how to increase inclusion.”
“[My daughter] thought the whole workshop was fantastic fun and found you very entertaining and funny. It was a great experience for [her] and I thank you for giving her the opportunity.”
“Thanks a lot for your work. Though [my daughter] told me she was still too shy to dance in the movement class, I saw her dance at home. Before, she always copied dance from videos or moved according to a teacher’s instruction. But now she dances in her own way, full of enthusiasm … It’s really nice that [young people like her] can bravely express themselves through music. Also, sitting in the class for half an hour impressed me deeply. I was surprised to see all of the students’ happiness and the energy that came out of creation and expression.”
“I would love to see more of these types of programs if it is possible. Young people with a disability want and need to have these kinds of opportunities … It also makes a young person with a disability feel that they are involved in an inclusive program rather than just a disability specific program. They want above all else to be just like everyone else.”