OSJ Music for Autism
Our vision and aims
OSJ Music for Autism introduces young people with autism to professionally performed classical music, in an informal and accessible environment where individual differences are celebrated. Music for Autism has been delivering an annual programme of accessible workshops for over 15 years, specifically designed for those with autism. OSJ Music for Autism engages with over 6,000 young people each year.
MfA workshops introduce young people with autism to world-class classical music in an environment designed to make them feel comfortable. For many young people Music for Autism workshops provide a rare opportunity to experience live music, to meet musicians and see instruments being played. Music for Autism (MfA) delivers an innovative programme of 70 workshops per year for special educational needs schools throughout the UK. MfA workshops are held in school halls and other accessible, familiar spaces. Participants are encouraged to respond to the music through spontaneous dance and movement throughout performances.
The partnership between OSJ and Music for Autism benefits from a professional network of musicians established during John Lubbock’s career, the Artistic Director and Founder. John Lubbock OBE personally leads each workshop, alongside professional musicians. Music for Autism is uniquely positioned to offer access to renowned musicians to those who might not otherwise have the confidence to attend a traditional concert setting.
About OSJ Music for Autism
Conductor John Lubbock and mezzo soprano Christine Cairns established Music for Autism in 2002 to share their love of music with other individuals with autism and their families. The couple founded MfA in response to the transformational positive impact music has on their autistic son.
The National Autistic Society reports that there are approximately 700,000 people on the autism spectrum in the UK. Autism is a lifelong, developmental disability that affects how a person communicates with and relates to other people, and how they experience the world around them.
Since the MfA was established it has delivered over 500 workshops and touched the lives of tens of thousands of young people with autism with the joy of classical music. Families and schools report that workshops facilitate the development of communication skills, movement and emotional wellbeing in young participants. Professor Adam Ockelford’s publication ‘Music and Autism: Exceptional Strategies for Exceptional Minds’ (2013) reports that young people with autism often have an intense natural musicality.
John Lubbock, OSJ artistic director and founder of OSJ Music for Autism, received an OBE in the 2015 for his services to the arts and for his charitable work.
BBC South Today on Tuesday, 16 May 2017
We would like to thank our funders for making the programme possible.
To ensure equal access for all, Music for Autism workshops are free of charge.
OSJ Music for Autism relies on raising over £70,000 annually from generous individuals, trusts and foundations to continue its charitable work.