The life-changing power of music
Sonny was excited to explore the keyboard for the first time.
When he realised he was making the sounds himself by pressing the keys, he wore the biggest smile and his body shook with excitement.
Five-year-old Sonny, who has a multi-sensory impairment and is severely sight impaired, takes enormous joy in music. As part of Sonny's support from charity The Amber Trust, he receives home visits from Patricia, an Amber Music Practitioner.
During these sessions, Patricia brings a range of instruments for Sonny to explore. He enjoys the piano, violin, and ukulele and particularly loves the Boomwhackers, a tubed percussion instrument.
The positive impact of musical engagement
“Sonny listens intently by stilling his body,” says his mum Julie. “If he’s excited by the music, he’ll start moving and grooving around – jumping and swaying whilst wearing the biggest smile and often vocalising with delight.”
Sonny’s sessions with Patricia have helped him make decisions, form opinions and convey these to the people around him, such as sharing his delight or dislike of the music being played. The bond between Sonny and Patricia has given Sonny the confidence to indicate through sign language when he would like more of something.
When Sonny explored the keyboard for the first time, he had recently started to walk independently. He was able to select the keyboard as his instrument of choice and explore it by himself. He was overcome with excitement at being able to do what he wanted to do. “He was so proud of himself,” said his mum Julie.
In addition to Sonny’s sessions with Patricia, the family attend monthly AmberPlus workshops online, allowing Sonny to engage further with music without travelling. These sessions also provide families on the scheme with an opportunity to connect with each other.
The Amber Trust – changing lives through music
The Amber Trust provides musical opportunities for blind and partially sighted children, including those with additional disabilities.
Amber is the only national charity dedicated to supporting vision impaired children with their musical development and education.
The charity aims to enhance the lives of as many of the 25,000 vision impaired children in the UK through music its music awards and family services:
- Amber Music Awards – funding music lessons, the purchase of instruments or specialist music technology, tickets and assistance with attending concerts and opportunities for making music
- Little Amber – supporting babies and children, including those with additional disabilities until the age of 5
- AmberPlus – supporting children and young people with additional disabilities from the ages of 5-18
- With Music in Mind – a scheme designed for children and young people with neurodegenerative disease
- Amber Sound Touch – a free online resource for music teachers who would like to teach blind and partially sighted children
The impact of music on children’s lives
Music has the power to unlock new pathways to fun, understanding, and connection. The Amber Trust believes that vision impairment and other disabilities should not be a barrier to accessing the life-changing power of music.
Music holds even greater significance for children who are blind or partially sighted, providing a means of self-expression and communication. Engaging in music allows children to explore the world around them and meet new people.
Just like Sonny, other families also report that working with Amber has an impact on many aspects of their children’s lives in addition to their musical development, including:
- Development of speech and communication
- An improved sense of well-being and happiness
- Feeling less lonely
- Increase in confidence
- Improved motor skills
- A sense of independence
Leaving a gift in your Will to The Amber Trust
The Amber Trust currently supports over 600 vision impaired children and young people across the UK. The charity relies entirely on kind donations from supporters to fund their services, as they receive no statutory funding.
Would you consider leaving a gift in your Will for The Amber Trust?
Any gift, large or small, is gratefully received and will allow The Amber Trust to continue providing future generations of blind and partially sighted children with life-changing music opportunities.
Find out more
You can find out more about leaving a gift in your Will by visiting Amber’s website.
Alternatively, get in touch with The Amber Trust at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 0300 323 9964.
Gifts in Wills - is it for you?
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