The 2nd edition compositions on this site are updated versions of music I wrote while teaching at Ash Lea School in Nottinghamshire, a school for pupils and students who have a range of learning difficulties and disabilities. Some of the learners there had beautiful singing voices but it was difficult to find commercially-available music which they could access fully. Sometimes we worked jointly with pupils from local Primary Schools and I composed music to try to appeal to all pupils. Participating pupils showed a high level of motivation when learning and performing the music, and great enjoyment!
Most of the songs include lyrics which are generally short and easy to remember, with tunes and rhythm patterns which are not too complicated. The 2nd edition works have some additional material and include FREE MP3 instrumental backing tracks.
In later years during my teaching career I co-ordinated a team supporting children with additional needs in mainstream schools in Nottinghamshire and advised on the development of inclusive practice.
I have made this music available in order to give opportunity for young children to enjoy music and performance, to achieve and to ‘shine’. It doesn't take too long to teach the songs - this might appeal to Primary School staff or leaders of other children’s groups who wish to provide inclusive opportunities, but whose time is limited!
Dawn Wigley, Head Teacher at Ash Lea School, who taught there when much of this music was written, says:
'Joy wrote the words and composed the music for many productions, which met the needs of our children and it enabled them to reach their full potential.... Everyone loved the productions, especially the parents, and the children loved performing in them. I always remember that on the long coach journeys for our summer residentials the children were still singing the songs!'
Anne and Tom, parents of a former participating pupil, say:
'The music transcended all barriers. It was an absolute joy to see children of mixed abilities and disabilities, many of whom were severely or profoundly challenged, working together to achieve such professionalism. Success resonated throughout and the audiences waited in eager anticipation of the next production. The songs and the music gave the children a platform to further develop educationally and socially!'
The setting of Psalm 23 - 'Yahweh' is my first choral (SATB) work for older singers.