Concord and Autism Plus launch A-PLUS DrumLine

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Autism Plus in partnership with Concord Youth Music are pleased to announce the launch of A-PLUS DRUMLINE, Europe’s first special needs percussion ensemble.

Inspired by Free Players – a similar unit based in New York city and the world’s first such group, A-PLUS will provide a musical performance opportunity for young adults with autism and other learning difficulties.

A drum-line is a percussion ensemble based upon those seen in marching bands and drum corps with performers playing on snare drums, bass drums and tenor drums, together with marching cymbals. Eventually we aim to add other percussion instruments. No experience is necessary and all equipment will be provided free of charge. We have already received some donations of equipment and other negotiations are under way.

Autism Plus is a registered charity that works across the North of England supporting people with autism and other complex needs. We have almost 30 years’ experience. Founded by parents we have built our services around choice and independence. Autism is a lifelong condition (a child with autism becomes an adult with autism), and affects every individual differently. It affects how a person communicates with, and relates to, other people and also affects how people make sense of the world around them.

Concord Youth Music, based in Sheffield, has built a reputation for excellence and for pioneering innovative ideas in the marching music activity since its formation in 1984, and has always offered members the best opportunities to excel and benefit from a variety of musical experiences. Concord will provide experienced leaders and volunteer instructors to prepare and deliver training programmes that will help encourage learning and socialisation and develop self-confidence and discipline as well as provide enjoyment.

There is a lack of opportunities for young adults with autism to take part in musical and visual performances. We know from our own experience that people with autism have some very valuable skills which can be very useful in a drum-line ensemble These include good attention to detail, and sticking to routines and timetables. A-Plus Drumline will help individuals to develop musical skills, improve their confidence and build relationships. It will also help to reduce anxiety levels, so that participants take better control over their lives. Studies have shown that drumming boosts the immune system; helps control chronic pain as well as reduce tension, anxiety and stress. It also creates a sense of unity and self-worth, in a fun creative environment. Other benefits include the understanding of self-discipline and team-building skills. Drumming improves focus and provides multiple skills training, e.g. eye-to-hand co-ordination and most of all it encourages self expression and creativity. A-Plus Drumline will rehearse at Autism Plus headquarters in central Sheffield on Tuesday evenings.

A-Plus Drumline welcomes new members and is also keen to establish local sponsorship, patronage and funding arrangements.
For further information please contact :

Jo Moverley Gray Tel : 0114 384 0272 or email : Jo.MoverleyGray@autismplus.co.uk

Roger Steele Tel : 0114 249 1460 or email : rcs@concord.org.uk

This is a very exciting new enterprise with already lots of enthusiasm all round. We are looking forward to building Europe’s first-ever special needs drum-line and giving our members lots of opportunities to learn and to perform.