Our Music Express group has been developing over the weeks in a wonderful and positive way.
I mentioned in our previous blog that we were going to encourage members to do their own pictures that they can relate to their songs. Having introduced the idea, members are now really enjoying creating their own pictures to use as props.
In photo 2398, this member has drawn a gold finger to sing to the Shirley Bassey song Gold Finger. Photo 2396 she has drawn hearts to sing her song Everlasting Love.
Another member has drawn a picture of roses to his song Roses Are Red, in photo 2327 he has drawn a star to sing to Star Dust. In photo 2299, this member who has communication difficulties and chooses not to sing, but is taking great interest in the picture the other member has drawn for his song. This is good progress that the idea of visual aids is having for our members, and it is encouraging interaction with each other.
In photo 2295 our member who doesn’t sing aloud, chose a picture to listen to one of his favourite song, “Over the Rainbow”. As in photo 2294, another member chose a picture of a birthday cake to sing Happy Birthday. He is enjoying singing that song as he recently had his own birthday. He is growing in confidence and social skills. As is our member who likes to listen to his songs, and doesn’t sing aloud, but has chosen another picture to listen to one of his favourite songs Time After Time.
This new idea is enjoyed and accepted by our members. Is helping us to explore and develop other ways through art/visual aids, that can further help members express themselves, and how they can communicate by using their own pictures. Especially for those who are non-verbal.
We can see how happy members are using their own pictures – photos 2474,2485,2427. They have created a wide range of different pictures to use with their variety of songs. It is lovely to see how they are connecting what they are drawing to the lyrics/words of their chosen songs.Click here for some more pictures.
Another idea I mentioned in our previous blog. That we were going to introduce a camera and monitor/screen, to see how members would react. Adults with autism/learning disabilities can react differently to seeing photos of themselves.
I have to say that the introduction of the equipment has proven a success beyond my hopes/expectations. It was a way that would help us learn more about communication difficulties people with these issues can and do experience.
We brought the camera and monitor/screen into the group and carried on as usual. We showed them the equipment and explained what it would do. After setting it up and trying it out, the members were delighted at watching themselves, as they thought on ‘television’.
One member was a little wary at first, seeing himself on the screen, but was quite pleased after a while-photo 2513. In photo 2514, this member is happy to see himself on the screen and using different pictures for his songs – photos 2515,2517.
In photo 2518, he is doing the actions to his song. In photos 2521,2522,2523, we can see how focused he is on watching himself. His facial expressions of how happy he is at expressing himself through his singing/actions. We can also see how our other member, who was a little wary of the screen, is relaxing and interacting.
In photos 2499,2500,2502, this member has also accepted and enjoying seeing herself on the screen.
The positive effect it is having on their confidence is absolutely amazing, and is helping the group to move forward, finding new ways to help our members in their social/communication skills, enjoying themselves through music and art.
In photos 2503,2496,2492, this member is more confident using actions and singing, as he is enjoying looking at himself. he can see his own expressions, which is wonderful progress.
Our aim is to use visual aids to help our members to play different instruments.
In photo 2495 (below), we can see how our member is happy at looking at herself on the screen whilst playing the xylophone. In photo 2505, this member is playing the keyboard and the camera/screen filming him.
Having now introduced the equipment, which has been accepted by our members. It is proving to be a method Uniquely Me & U can further develop our group with. We are going to explore visual aids to encourage members to play their chosen instruments. Learning colours, letters, musical notes, reading skills.
Uniquely Me & U , is continuing to move forward and learning from our members, and always striving for new ideas/methods to help them reach their potential. Being a small group enables friendships and team work, and confidence to develop and evolve at their own pace, which is our aim.