Living My Song
is dedicated to exploring ways in which everyone can discover and express their own musical personality. We firmly believe that we are all musical beings; that we each have a song to sing. All too often, though, our creative skills remain hidden, even from ourselves.
My own song may be silenced by the pressures of earning a living and raising a family. I may have time for everything except my own inner needs. I may be isolated by disability, unable to communicate. I may be locked in the secret world of dementia or profound learning difficulties but I still have a well of untapped creativity within me. I am singing my song.... and Living My Song will help to make it heard!
Living My Song is a small, privately-funded project, established by Audrey Podmore in 1994, to research ways of overcoming the obstacles to making music experienced by people with disabilities. It soon became obvious that approaches and resources that extended opportunities for disabled people could also do much to enrich the musical experience of others. As far as discovering and expressing the inner musician goes, vast numbers of people are deprived of opportunities!
Harnessing what music technology has to offer has been of enormous importance in Living My Song's work, from the very outset. Now, the World Wide Web provides exciting opportunities to reach out to people across the globe, supporting those who suffer musical deprivation and those who would like to bring music into their lives.
Now, Living My Song is devoting its efforts to publishing materials informed by its research. Some are published under its own imprint and others form part of the catalogue of our partner, The Full Pitcher Music Resources
. The Full Pitcher's online store is a fully e-commerce equipped site, at the cutting edge of internet music publishing. Our own site is a source of information, advice and interest, addressing, in greater depth, the needs of people with disabilities and their carers.
The following are some examples of people whose song has been liberated through engagement with our ideas and resources and these are linked to features about music making in various special needs settings. In the features, others who have found how important music can be in changing lives share their enthusiasms and their skills. We hope you enjoy reading them!
who has profound and multiple learning difficulties, is enjoying his music session. Simply by stroking his hand over a special switch device, he can 'play' the pan-pipes. He listens to his partner playing a phrase on the 'magic flute' and, laughing with delight, answers her on his instrument.
suffers from Azheimer's Disease. She can no longer remember the words of the Jazz numbers she used to like, so well. She can still 'swing', however! As the synthesized 'band' repeats the chord sequence, she launches into a vocal improvisation. After the session, she shares memories, with her carer, of things thought long-forgotten.
is a bright young man, cruelly disabled by Cerebral Palsy. He is putting the finishing touches to a composition he is recording on the computer. The ‘Living My Song’ approach has released the torrent of original music, trapped by his speechless, unresponsive body.
Living My Song is dedicated to empowering each person to access a musical personality, unaffected by disability, and to enjoy equal opportunities for participation in music education and activity. This should not be confused with music therapy, which uses music as a clinical treatment to restore psychological and physical well-being, undermined by illness or disability.