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Feel The Beat @ St John Vianney Secondary School - Songwriting Success!

At Olympias Music Foundation (OMF), we believe in the power of music to transform lives. Since 2020, we have been privileged to witness this transformation firsthand at St John Vianney Secondary School, where our weekly music workshops have become a beacon of joy and creativity for 40 children aged 11-16.

These children, who face challenges such as limited motor skills, Global Development Delay (GDD), ADHD, and Autistic Spectrum Condition (ASC), have found a new voice through our interactive and participatory sessions. They sing, they play instruments, they lead the group - they truly feel the beat.

Each year, we invite a videographer to capture what unfolds in these workshops. This year, on the 28th of June, Tom Doona joined us to film the songs that Georgie and Pierre had written with each class. The result was nothing short of extraordinary, with standout performances like "Plane or Car", "Fishy Friday", and "We'll always be together".

Aidan Moloney, the Headteacher of St John Vianney, couldn't help but express his gratitude for the OMF team. "OMF is now a critical part of our curriculum offer, providing wonderful opportunities to bring music therapy to life for disadvantaged children and young people in the Greater Manchester area," he said. He praised the OMF team for their passion and dedication, and for creating bespoke weekly music therapy programmes that fully support the groups’ sensory needs.

Jo Yee Cheung, OMF Chief Executive, echoed these sentiments. "This project is the epitome of joy – there is nothing more rewarding than seeing the pleasure and enjoyment of the pupils at St John Vianney in their music sessions over the last 3 years,".

Pierre Flasse, guest facilitator, shared a heartwarming story about the Key Stage 4 Collective. Initially hesitant about the songwriting project, they eventually became the most engaged and enthusiastic group. "As soon as we felt the song represented them more, we felt they engaged in a much more genuine and heartfelt way," Pierre said.

Georgie Lockett, the facilitator for St John Vianney Olympias Music Foundation Sessions, shared the progress of Jace, a 1-1 student with Special educational needs. "Jace has been coming for one to one for the whole academic year, and he is probably about 13. And we started the sessions and he would play instruments, but kind of quite randomly and not as much in patterns. But now he knows the hello song and he's learnt a whole song about train. And he initiates a lot the sound. So he'll ask for the whistle, the bell, the wheels and the steam," they said.

The Feel The Beat project at St John Vianney Secondary School is a testament to the transformative power of music. It's a celebration of creativity, resilience, and the indomitable spirit of these wonderful children. We can't wait to see where these young people go next!

And speaking of what's next, we have some exciting news for you! Keep your eyes and ears open this August, as we will be releasing the finished songs from our sessions. From "Plane or Car" to "Fishy Friday" and "We'll always be together", get ready to be moved by the heartwarming melodies and inspiring lyrics penned by our talented young musicians. Stay tuned!

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