David Stanley is a musician on a mission. With active encouragement from Britain’s Prime Minister David Cameron, he established the UK’s first full-time music education service specifically for children and adults with learning disabilities and special education needs. At its core are enjoyment, education and unique performance opportunities for everyone.
So how does this prove that music is magic? To understand that you need to bear in mind that David’s focus is on teaching musicality. One section of the book describes the difference in approach between music therapy and music education. David says ‘I just teach music’. However he also acknowledges ‘I was shocked to learn of the wider impact we had made in 2012 because to me the students were always musicians first and foremost.’ I wonder if David realises how refreshing this is to hear by a parent of one of his students. In this book you will read more about the life-changing impact of his teaching.
So, is that the magic? It is certainly a part of it. However, there is more.
Magically, music can also enhance other areas of creativity. Students and artists from all over the world were inspired to create paintings based on David’s music. After the paintings were completed, David revealed his thought processes and intent for the 8 musical ‘poems’ he had composed. It is fascinating to see the paintings in the book while listening to the music (links are included).
A huge part of the magic of The Music Man Project is the performances. In the book you will read about the background to the amazing concerts given by the students, culminating in their West End debut at the world famous London Palladium where students premiered David’s new musical ‘From the Asylum to the Palladium’.
As you read the book you will realise that we are on a journey. Although we have come a long way we are certainly not finished yet. Whatever else you discover in this book, we hope that by the end you too will acknowledge that music is indeed magic!
The charity single, “Music is Magic” features students of the Music Man Project and is also available to purchase via Amazon Music.
The single features almost one hundred singers with learning disabilities and includes a solo from an adult student called Michelle, who could not even speak before studying at The Music Man Project. After just two years she is a recording artist and performer at the London Palladium – a feat which demonstrates just how life-changing music education can be for people with additional needs.
The song was written by The Music Man Project founder, David Stanley with lyrics by David Stanley and Jenny Hitchcock. It was arranged and recorded by Al Steele.