There are lots of positive and negative vibes out there regarding the X-Factor that has clearly become synonymous with the show we've come to love, hate or be somewhat indifferent about.
When I was thinking through a business name I discovered the quote "We are each gifted in a unique and important way. It is our privilege and our adventure to discover our own special light" I loved the quotation and have subsequently used it on the website and in some marketing literature I put out there.
The quote is actually attributed to Evelyn Mary Dunbar a British artist. She was one of the few female artists to have been employed by the War Artists' Advisory Committee to record women's contributions to World War 2. She also helped to pioneer the Green movement.
Over the past month I have been amazinlgy lucky to land some work with @Venturer's Academy in Bristol. The academy opened in September 2016 and is the first state funded all age specialist provision in Bristol for children with a primary diagnosis of Autistic Spectrum Conditions (ASC) and who have an Education Health Care Plan (EHCP).
I initially spent a week working closely with Matthew Hemson one of the UK's leading Music Therapist (The Therapeutic Media Company) facilitating a music week. This involved working with the children to write a song that has now become the school song and as a next phase in its development will end up being professionally recored and produced in a local recording studio.
The astoudning and moving thing that Matthew and I discovered as we worked with numerous children throughout the school either in one-to-one or group sessions as appropriate was the phenomenal depth of talent and creativity the children showed when previously in many cases there was perhaps no expectatiton of active or meaningful particiation. The children were allowed to dictate each session with Matthew and me improvising across numerous instruments to create the mood we picked up from the situations that unfolded.
There were were countless moments of tears, joy and ecstacy when previously voices that were relatively unheard turned into confident vocalists when presented for example with a microphone. The delight on the children's faces when, with their permission we are able to record the session and play it back for the group to hear and celebrate - job satisfaction for us took on another level of expression. The week of musical celebration at the Venturer's Academy finished with a concert to parents, teachers and pupils which for all was a magical occasion.
(Pictures courtesty of Venturer's Academy http://www.venturersacademy.org/492/news-blog/post/66/musical-celebration )
My weekly session each Monday has continued in the same manner working with an extremely talented pianist / drummer, a potential movie maker with the most vivid imagination to children's voices being heard in a different way ever for the first time - the case studies and stories are just growing - to me this is the 'real' X-Factor.
As I continue my foray into the world of music as a tool for not only self-expression but also as a potential to heal and help build confidence I will be introudcing a whole array of wonderful people, pupils and mentors to share some of the most thought provoking stories and experiences of the X-Factor moments and life changing experiences that music is bringing around us. Below is a thought provoking infographic on why piano lessons are good for you and your brain. Please comment and send through any equlaly interesting links and articles you have.
"We are each gifted in a unique and important way. It is our privilege and our adventure to discover our own special light" - and to help others discover theirs!