We would all agree that activities with a musical focus have a special relevance for children with special needs. This excellent resource, by an educational psychologist, based on first-hand experience and academic research offers immaculate and detailed guidance to adults who might wish to set up and develop similar projects with young children.
Do not be put off by the apparently lengthy introduction. It contains a wealth of essential information, including involving parents, as well as relevant detail about Early Learning Goals and the requirements of the Code of Practice.
The author sensibly uses activities that will be familiar to adults working with young children, but the distinction between this and other such resource material is that great importance is placed on planning and cross-referencing to the Early Learning Goals. This is the strength of the resource. The rationale behind this is the difference between music therapy, where children respond and express themselves through the therapeutic medium, and developmental music therapy, where music simply becomes the tool used to teach developmental steps.
The book offers advice on organising music sessions, appropriate instruments to make or collect as well as assessment and session planning sheets. This is an essential handbook for all adults working in this field.
Leonora Davies is Inspector for Music and Music Services, London borough of Haringey