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Music for Special Needs

Cat has delivered workshops in a variety of settings; for deafblind teenagers on behalf of SENSE, for adults with Mental Health difficulties on behalf of the Restore charity, for adults with cerebral Palsy in association with Drake Music (as part of the Welcome Songs project in Aylesbury - see video below), and for young disabled children and their carers. Cat works with song as well as a variety of musical instruments, and will tailor workshops to the needs of the participants, adapting existing material or creating her own.

Cat is a qualified Makaton Local Tutor and is one of a handful of licensed practitioners delivering Singing with Makaton training sessions in the UK. Cat is a firm believer in the use of Makaton to aid communication, and believes that the combination of Makaton with singing can be very powerful. Cat worked with Sing Up and The Makaton Charity to develop resources for their Singing with Makaton training course, including structured activity sheets, a collection of signed song videos, and more recently has started work on a 'train the trainer' course.

In 2015 Cat spearheaded the innovative Makaton Folk Project, and the newly-formed band Iris performed an hour's set of folk songs with Makaton signing at Folk Weekend: Oxford. The whole set can be found here, or there is a taster below.

"Really enjoyed this session and feel I could use the signs with mainstream children too... I enjoyed the singing.. it can help all children in my class." -- participant from Singing with Makaton workshop

"Mark, Maria, and Tina don't often get the chance to try something new, so they found it amazing. They were made to feel as much part of the choir as everybody else." -- carer for choir participants with cerebral palsy

"Learned some good signs for communicating and how to sign some favourite songs, and enough to give others a go... will put in practice immediately!"
-- participant from Singing with Makaton workshop

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