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Music Matters

Over the Winter term of 2021, I worked with nine students with moderate to severe learning difficulties to create a performance that teaches the audience about online safety. The group has been trialing a new accreditation through the Arts Award, which combines their arts programme with online safety. The group of students were given complete creative control of what they would be studying and performing. The students decided to use the song My Game - developed by the Breck Foundation as part of the educational resource ‘Songs for Breck’ - as their focus.

They pulled inspiration from Lady Gaga, Signing Hands and the use of lighting in the Matrix films. The students created a dance routine and new artwork for the imagined album or single. Throughout their studies the students recalled and retold the story of Breck from the graphic novel ‘Breck and the Online Troll’. Due to the rising Covid situation students had to quickly adapt their performance from stage to film, eventually creating a brilliant film of their work alongside their dance routine.

The progress of these students has been phenomenal. We have had limited-speaking students verbalising lines from the story and songs; students too shy to join in group lessons leading routines. The students have been confident and passionate enough to share and talk to senior members of staff and other students about their experience of learning about Breck. They have made their school and families extremely proud of their work.

The students hope the work they have created will get them an Arts Award Discover accreditation, and then continue to educate others in their school about online safety.

I am always amazed at the relatability of the story of Breck, and how it has the power to affect and change students. The use of the music ‘Songs for Breck’ has offered these students a voice that sometimes is not heard.

The resources are currently shortlisted for Excellence in SEND by the Music and Theatre awards and we are very proud to be sending these amazing resources out into the world.

The Breck Resources are available on the Breck Foundation website here; ‘Songs for Breck’ is available on Spotify and iTunes.

Mark Harrington



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