COVID statement February 2021

Well, here we are. Almost a whole year has passed since we went into lockdown, and while it’s been rather unbearable for every single one of us, some people have arguably suffered more than others. What I see in my work is that nobody has been more adversely affected than those people with dif-abilities who are considered extremely vulnerable, and have barely left their homes during this time – let alone seen or touched their loved ones. 

I’ve continued to run sensory music sessions, but due to lockdown I’ve only been able to run these with the adults I work with regularly as a support worker. Unlike many people, who immediately sprang into action and took their businesses online, I’ve hesitated to make a concrete decision on what to d0 next. I’ve tried Zoom classes with varying results, but generally speaking, it just doesn’t work well. Face-to-face interaction is absolutely crucial in these interactive sessions. So is engagement by support workers, not to mention access to instruments, theme props, fancy dress and sensory items.

After speaking to several parents of young children who are going crazy trying to conjure up new ways of entertaining and educating the kids at home, it occured to me that Creative Rhythms workshops are absolutely perfect for little ones. The sensory music sessions in particular lend themselves well to family fun, with the opportunity for children to dance, learn, experiment with instruments, and burn off tons of energy before winding down in a soothing chillout space. 

So, here’s the good news! Current covid guidelines allow for support groups of up to 15 people to go ahead as usual, and under 5s are not counted. So, with that in mind, these sessions will start back up again in late March in Halifax, and weekly thereafter. 

Sadly, not everyone in society feels that creativity, community and face-to-face interaction for isolated children and vulnerable adults are deemed ‘essential’. As such, I will not be publishing the location details just yet, but would prefer anyone interested to contact me directly.

Choosing fear over love may have become the norm in these dark times, but there is a growing swell of voices who reject the status quo and understand the reality: that interaction with other human beings and access to the creative arts have never been more important for mental health, happiness and wellbeing than they are right now.

The sessions are recommended for kids aged 3-12, but are inclusive and everyone is welcome – especially chair users (and even better, chair dancers!) I’m looking forward to welcoming old and new friends of all ages to these weekly sessions, whether living with dif-abilities or not. Please note that this is an open invitation, but I am by no means encouraging people to take any risks. It is entirely down to the individual, assuming they have capacity, to decide whether or not the benefits of attending a support group outweigh the risks of mixing with other members of the community in the current climate.

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Introducing Creative Rhythms

Update, February 2021: OUR INTERACTIVE SENSORY MUSIC SESSIONS ARE BACK FROM MARCH 2021, Now for kids (WHETHER dif-abled or not)! 

Creative Rhythms’ interactive, sensory music sessions are perfect for energetic children. Each session is based on a theme which we’ll explore through taste, touch and smell, not to mention an awesome playlist! Some themes are seasonal, some are based on specific musical eras. We’ll also travel around the world, exploring far-flung places and the genres associated with them. We’ll dress up, we’ll dance, we’ll experiment, and we’ll have tons of fun! Creative Rhythms sessons were originally designed for children and adults living with autism, mental health needs and/or profound or mild learning disabilities (or dif-abilities, as I prefer to say). Although I’m now running them for children instead, it’s very important to me that the classes remain accessible and open to all. With that in mind, chair users (and chair dancers!) are more than welcome at these sessions, launching on 20th March 2021, 2-3pm, in Sowerby Bridge. If you’d like to attend, please contact me for location details and any other queries. This covid statement explains my decision to focus on children’s classes. You can read my other blog posts (including a fun activity on how to make your own simple instruments from everyday objects!) by scrolling to the bottom of this page. 

Contact me: creativerhythmsophie@gmail.com, 07482316571

Creative Rhythms: Tailor-made, person-centred art, music, nature and sensory sessions to develop, excite and inspire

Wouldn’t it be nice to live a world where people recognise that what unites us is far more important than any ‘dif-ability’* that divides us? Music, nature and the creative arts speak to something deep inside each and every one of us, and promote a great and long-lasting sense of wellbeing and inner peace.

Creative Rhythms offers person-centred, tailor-made art and music sessions along with sensory and intensive interaction time and seasonal outdoor activities to focus on what we all have in common: a love of and deep connection to music, art, nature and the senses. Aside from being tons of fun, sessions can help to develop the following:

  • Sensory skills
  • Spiritual and emotional wellbeing
  • Imagination
  • Potential for holistic development
  • Meaningful opportunities for learning
  • Hand-to-eye co-ordination
  • Individuality
  • Sense of self
  • Learning rhythm and tempo
  • Motor skills
  • Choice-making
  • Communication skills
  • Interaction with others
  • Observation and listening skills
  • Creativity
  • Teamwork
  • Self esteem
  • Sessions are also therapeutic, calming, and inspire happiness

The Creative Rhythms Philosophy is that all people with a ‘dif-ability’ can express themselves and come alive through music, creativity, the senses, alternative communication techniques, and time spent in nature. Find out more by clicking on the ‘FAQs’ tab above.

Blogs

Blog posts follow. You can jump to a specific post by using the links below:

  • Covid statement February 2021 including info on upcoming weekly music sessions: Read here
  • ‘Spiral Tribe’: Creative Rhythms’ accessible sensory allotment: Read here
  • How to make your own musical instruments at home: Read here
  • Inclusive music-making: How Jack made his sister’s wedding day so special: Read here
  • How to start growing your own food in a small or urban space: Read here
  • How to cope – and thrive! – during lockdown: Read here
  • On the ethics of UK abortion laws and discrimination against dif-abled people : Read here
  • How science shows that nature and wellbeing go hand in hand : Read here