Helping young children with VI to engage with music

Post date: 
Tuesday, 5 December 2017
Image shows an illustration of a woman and a child smiling and playing with a music instrument

A new music scheme aims to enable children with vision impairment (VI) to engage with music by providing families and professionals with resources and ideas for music-making.

The initiative, known as Little Amber, provides free and easy access to online music resources for families of children with vision impairment worldwide and the professionals who support them.

The resources are designed for children with VI in their early years (birth to five years old), but are also suitable for older children who have learning difficulties.

Research by The Amber Trust, the charity that runs the service, found that engaging with and making music has several benefits for young children with VI, including:

  • bonding with parents and carers
  • learning to listen carefully, and
  • developing language skills.

The project also has a Music Awards scheme, where families in the UK are provided with activity cards that consist of around 500 musical games that parents can play with their children.

Alongside this, they receive four home visits a year by a specially trained early years music practitioner, who shows family members and carers musical activities they can also do at home or when they’re out and about.

A parent who took part in the Little Amber pilot scheme talks about the significant benefits it has had on their baby:

“We struggled to find anything to interest our son. We’ve since been shown how to interact with him using the keyboard - we've never seen him so engaged for such a long time. It’s amazing to see how much he enjoys it.”

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