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About Us

Music and the Deaf is a unique charity working locally, nationally and internationally providing musical opportunities 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. Over the years Music and the Deaf has built a national and international reputation for pushing the boundaries of what deaf musicians can achieve.

There are over 45,000 deaf children living in the UK (NDCS), 40% of Deaf children experience mental health problems compared to 25% of other children (NDCS Briefing 2013). Deaf young people are often completely excluded from music-making 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 are vulnerable to mental health illnesses. Our projects have brought thousands of people together to share similar experiences and has helped them to socialise and make new friends.

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 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. MatD 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 and internationally, delivering workhshops, workforce training and advocacy. We were pivotal in developing provision for Deaf children as part of the national ‘Sing Up!’ programme. Our ‘Deaf Youth Orchestra’ model has been successful in Singapore and in the Dominican Republic. MatD work with the Deaf Community, delivering projects with families and adults which break down barriers to music making. In the last 5 years Music and the Deaf has engaged over 3,000 Deaf and hearing young people, and 500 adults in quality music making. Many thousands more have taken training or attended performances.

We are experts in identiying issues and difficulties surounding the world of deafness and music.To achieve our goals we have produced a detailed, targeted plan and we will undertake a pilot programme of artistic and organisational growth. During the past 28 years the charity has shown the ability to empathise and subsequently take action to actively promote music and deafness. We are committed to our belief of “Enriching lives through Music.”

Our Team