Soundabout was launched in 1995 in Oxford. We aim to empower school staff working with children and young people with special needs to make music interactively with their pupils with severe and complex disabilities. The enthusiastic response to this project by both pupils and school staff suggested that a permanent staff training programme would be welcomed in schools across the UK. In December 1997 Soundabout was officially founded as an independent charity. Soundabout is now a national charity that has pioneered the use of music, sound and movement to give even the most disabled children and adults a voice, a way to express themselves and be listened to.

Over the past 3 years we have carried out training in over 180 organisations, schools and colleges across Britain 450+ training days to over 1,500 staff and through them reaching about 5,000 children. 60% of our work is in schools. 40% is community-based.

Sounds of Intent is a completely new way of assessing and recording a child’s musical development. It is an easy-to-use internet package that will enable teachers, therapists, parents and others to: Assess & track progress & download musical activity resources

Sounds of Intent breaks down into minute stages the development of a person’s engagement with sound and music, from when they first encounter and become aware of sound, via responding unintentionally and with intent, to using sound and music deliberately to interact with others.

Soundabout are delighted to be appointed by the project to train staff in all special schools in Essex and Thurrock and Southend in how to use the Sounds of Intent package, not just in terms of the computer programme itself, but also in how to recognise and assess the child’s response and progress.