Music for Autism at Jigsaw

Visit by John Lubbock (Orchestra of St John), founder of Music for Autism - a charity that brings music into the lives of people with autism.
Visit by John Lubbock (Orchestra of St John), founder of Music for Autism - a charity that brings music into the lives of people with autism.

Jigsaw CABAS® School, (“Outstanding”, Ofsted Oct 2013) specialists in educating children with an autism spectrum disorder were pleased to welcome back John Lubbock with his Orchestra of St John’s players for a series of short concerts at the school in Dunsfold Park, near Cranleigh, under the banner of his charity ‘Music for Autism’ .

Visiting on Wednesday, 23 October, were a woodwind group comprising the Oboe, Clarinet and Bassoon.

Music, in all its forms, has always been seen to have an impact on many of the pupils at Jigsaw with faces lighting up in pleasure at the sounds or rhythms being copied - in some way, the live music and immediate nature of John Lubbock’s performances create wonderful and individual reactions.

The deep tones of the bassoon resonated with a number of pupils whilst others were intrigued by the combination of different looks and sounds of the three instruments. Conducting to the rhythm also appealed with a number of pupils keeping a good tempo, leading the musicians from the front.

Music for Autism visits Jigsaw each term as part of the broader and enhanced curriculum provided by the school. In addition to the formal classroom learning, Jigsaw aims to create wider opportunities for pupils to experience different disciplines and environments. Having such close and hands on access to the wide variety of instruments brought in by John Lubbock is a significant benefit to many of the pupils and another opportunity for new experiences and a creative outlet.

Sarah Brown, Educational Visits Co-ordinator explains “We were incredibly fortunate to first experience Music for Autism a few years ago now. At the time the response from the children to their live, accessible and interactive music sessions was overwhelming and that has not changed – each time John brings different instruments and musicians and the children get to experience something new. For us, it’s become a truly valuable part of our curriculum. Thank you so much Music for Autism.”

John Lubbock, Founder of Orchestra of St John’s and ‘Music for Autism’ charity goes on to explain: “We all know just how important music can be to people and the real joy is that it touches everyone in different ways – children with autism are no different to typically developing children in that they have genuine and very personal reactions to what they hear and often times we get to witness unexpected or unusually expansive responses which is very rewarding to see.”

For more information about Jigsaw, please contact: Kate le Feber on katelefeber@jigsawtrust.co.uk or visit www.jigsawschool.co.uk

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Report and pictures submitted by Jigsaw