The Amber Trust is absolutely thrilled to announce that we’ve been given a grant from Global’s Make Some Noise of £88,000 to run our UK-wide AmberPlus music service and AmberPlus Music Makers workshops programme for two years. It is an astonishing amount and we cannot thank them enough.
AmberPlus was launched in October 2018 and has two elements. The first is access to freely available resources that can be viewed online or downloaded. These are open to all families and professionals in the UK and beyond. The second is the ‘AmberPlus Scheme’, for families who have a visually impaired son or daughter aged between 5 and 18 who has severe, or profound and multiple learning difficulties. The scheme is open to 50 families at any one time. Those involved are given a set of activity cards, a songbook, a set of percussion instruments, and receive termly visits (with two in the first term) by a specially trained practitioner. Practitioners show parents, carers, teachers and siblings musical activities to do at home, at school or when families are out and about.
AmberPlus resources have been developed using the Sounds of Intent framework. They consist of the Tuning In Music Book and a deck of Tuning In Cards, written by Professor Adam Ockelford for The Amber Trust, and contain over 300 musical activities designed to nurture musical engagement as well as promote wider learning and development, and wellbeing. They are supported by hundreds of freely available and professionally recorded songs on Amber’s website. AmberPlus Music Makers workshops are modelled on the 1-1 scheme but are specifically for schools and groups, involving 6 music sessions across the year, so 2 per term.
Music is particularly important for children who are visually impaired. Research spearheaded by The Amber Trust has shown that music-making can have a uniquely positive impact on children’s lives; quite simply, it engages and stimulates the brain in a way that nothing else does. We are so incredibly grateful to Global’s Make Some Noise for their support and for helping our aim to reach as many of the 25,000 blind and partially sighted children in the UK as we can.