Ryan started having 1-1 music sessions at F Sharp Music over four years ago. He was originally accessing group music sessions with Fiona at his day service and was appearing to thoroughly enjoy the activity. His mum then requested 1-1 music sessions at home supported by his mum and his carer. 

Ryan has limited mobility and is non-verbal, but displays a good sense of rhythm showing particular interest in the drums. 

We start every session with a ‘Hello song’ which Ryan usually likes to help with by strumming the strings of the guitar. We then sing a warm up song using different actions and/or instruments for the verses. This encourages Ryan to make choices, communicating his preferences and to show self-expression. 

Drumming is also a great way of developing motor skills. Due to Ryan’s limited mobility, encouraging him to hold a drumstick in each hand and learning to alternate the movement of his hands and arms is done by positioning drums and cymbals in close proximity to him. Over time once he gets used to the movement we gradually move the drums further apart so it encourages Ryan to use more gross motor skills in his upper body. 

Even the development of alternating hands can be a big challenge for Ryan and a huge development when achieved. The development of gross motor skills can have an impact in other parts of his life with regards to playing, communicating and making choices. Interaction with drums and other instruments such as the keyboard, wind chimes and handbells can have a much bigger role than just being a musical instrument, they can help develop other skills which can then be used in other parts of Ryan’s life. 

“Fiona always makes her music sessions fun and stimulating. She tailors each session to my son’s specific needs/moods/likes while encouraging him to work hard using a wide variety of music instruments.” Ryan’s mum