Music and the Deaf is a unique charity working locally, nationally and internationally providing musical opportunities and access for children and adults who live with any degree of hearing loss. The charity was founded in 1988 by Dr Paul Whittaker OBE, himself a profoundly deaf musician. Now led by Artistic Director Danny Lane following Paul’s resignation in 2015, the charity continues to go from strength to strength, and has built an international reputation for pushing the boundaries of what deaf people can aspire to and achieve in music.
There are over 45,000 deaf children living in the UK (NDCS). 40% of deaf children experience mental health problems, compared to 25% of children without a hearing loss (NDCS Briefing 2013). Deaf young people are often completely excluded from music-making and its many developmental benefits in schools. Music and the Deaf has worked hard to share good practise in this area and actively encourage music-making aimed at deaf children.
Deafness is isolating and deaf people can be vulnerable to mental health illnesses. Our projects have brought thousands of people together to share similar experiences, helped people to socialise and so reduce this isolation.
We are the only UK organisation entirely dedicated to providing music opportunities for deaf people. The charity pioneers groundbreaking projects such as the National Deaf Youth Orchestra, Frequalise, and The 4ORTE Ensemble, and has helped widen theatre access in partnership with prestigious producers including Cameron Mackintosh, The Really Useful Group, The BBC Proms and the Edinburgh Festival.
Music and the Deaf has focused primarily in music education, transforming perceptions of how young people can engage, progress and excel in music making. We work with music hubs across the UK, delivering workhshops, workforce training, talks, consultation and advice. We were pivotal in developing provision for deaf children as part of the national ‘Sing Up!’ programme, and our Deaf Youth Orchestra model has been successful in Singapore and the Dominican Republic.
The charity works closely with the deaf community, delivering projects with families and adults which break down barriers to music making. Music and the Deaf has engaged thousands of deaf and hearing children, young people and adults in quality music making. Many thousands more have taken part in training or attended performances.
We are experts in identiying issues and difficulties surounding the world of deafness and music. During the past 28 years the charity has shown the ability to empathise and subsequently take action to actively promote music and deafness, and we are committed to our belief of “Enriching lives through Music.”