Southend Mencap run a Music School for both children and adults, which meets on most Saturdays during school term time. It is the brainchild of David Stanley, who offered his services to the society back in 2000 in an attempt to provide music sessions to the learning disabled.
The venue for this group is Kingsdown School and this is a new premises for the music school from September 2013. However, the Music School wouldn’t be the success it has become without the fantastic support of The Eastwood Academy who have been supporting the club since it’s introduction and hosted the sessions up to the end of the summer term of 2013. Eastwood’s support has been fantastic as they allowed the club the use of their state of the art music equipment and premises free of charge and also allowed us the use of their theatre to stage concerts and performances. The move to Kingsdown is a necessary one though as their premises are larger and more accessible to those with more complex needs and will allow the music school to continue offering opportunities to new students without having to resort to a waiting list.
The children’s session runs from 9am to 10.15am but each child needs to be booked in for the sessions they wish to do. The age range for the children’s group is 7 year olds through to 19 year olds. However, once a child has reached the age of 17 years, they can move into the adult’s session straight away if they so wish.
The adult’s session runs from 10.30am to 12pm and there is no booking requirement for this especially now that the music school has moved to Kingsdown School.
Our music school is very well known locally and they do a number of performances across the community each year, including their Christmas show tour that takes place at Avenue Baptist Church and Highlands Methodist Church. Additionally, the school has hosted two sold out shows at The Cliffs Pavilion in July 2009 and July 2011.
To see how the music school has grown and developed since it started, please go to our Galleries page and select the Music School Album.
You can see details of when the Music School takes place by going to our Flyers page and selecting either the Children’s or Adult’s Music School picture.
Finally, the Music School is now the proud subject of it’s very own documentary. Filmed between November 2011 and April 2012 by Paul Carpenter, the 59 minute documentary details the journey taken by the Music School and how it’s founder David Stanley and his fantastic team have been supporting children and adults with learning disabilities since it’s introduction at the turn of the century.
To view the Music Man documentary, click the following picture