Funded by BUPA Foundation, this project offered a series of music making sessions to a group of gifted and talented pupils from Leicestershire SEND school Ash Field Academy and their families. Workshop leader and composer Noga Ritter worked digitally with these young people and families to create a collection of unique and inspiring musical outcomes!


The process         

When project delivery began in December of 2020, many of the young people involved were accessing these digital workshops from their school classrooms within their staff and student bubbles at Ash Field Academy. We started to experiment with lyric writing and beat boxing skills, enhanced by induvial microphones provided by the school for these sessions.

In January, as a result of another lockdown, these participants continued to engage with the project, alongside their family members from their own homes. We implemented the use of Soundtrap, an online collaborative recording platform, where we could capture creative input from each individual towards our group compositions. This software proved to be essential in developing musical ideas and a useful tool for the families of two home learners who participated in one-to-one sessions with Noga.

As the sessions drew to a close, we invited two musicians from Sinfonia Viva to meet the young people, listen to the songs they had created and add in their own instrumental parts alongside Noga to finish the tracks. Screen recordings from our weekly workshops were then combined into a montage video which accompanied each groups’ track. These were shared with the participants, their parents/carers and staff from Ash Field Academy in a closed sharing event in February to conclude the project.


Case Study

N and her mother engaged in one-to-one sessions with Noga where together they created a beautiful piece named ‘Dr Beat’. This track was strongly inspired by N's love for beat boxing. Throughout their sessions, N had incredible enthusiasm towards her composition and added her own beats, clicks and words to the piece – the speaking you can hear is communicated through N's talker!

These sessions gave N and her mother a positive opportunity to express themselves and explore creative means of communication together. You can watch their wonderful final outcome here where you’ll see and hear great contributions from our cellist Deirdre Bencsik as well as support from Ellie Martindale, Creative Projects Assistant at Sinfonia Viva.



The impact of this project can be felt through the reaction of lead music teacher at Ash Field Academy Catherine Gough in response to our final sharing event. She comments:

“I’m absolutely blown away by what you’ve achieved in such a short space of time and with all the limitations of technological hitches and lack of direct contact with parents and carers. Today’s showcase was just joyful to watch. The recordings were wonderful and so varied and the videos beautifully encapsulated the journey each group had been on. 

I know the senior leadership team who were attending in force loved what they saw and are so grateful to you for the contribution you have made to our learners’ experience of the last 3 months. 

Thank you so much!”

One participant responded to seeing their finished video and composition by saying:

“It’s very lively and put a smile on my face! I’m happy and proud that we could share our song that we all put together, I liked how we collaborated.”

As well as having great impact on the participants, this project touched the families and carers of these young people. It was incredible to see how beneficial these creative workshops were to provide a moment of respite in such uncertain times where families could come together and enjoy an encouraging environment to create music together. 

The project was funded by BUPA Foundation as part of an exploration of different approaches to working with carers and those that they care for.  This element of the project followed some in person and online singing sessions which took place at Ash Field Academy during 2020, and plans were re-shaped and developed as a result of the COVID19 pandemic.


Workshop Leader

Noga Ritter