Singing and Signing
Our singing and signing activities make it possible for people with learning and communication difficulties to express themselves creatively and to communicate through music and performance. They are also great songs for inclusive groups as people are able to engage with the songs and the signs at the level that works best for them. And they’re a lot of fun – singing and signing with a group makes you feel good!
We use these songs in a range of formal and informal settings, from primary, secondary and special schools to community music groups, with local and national businesses and at conferences.
Excellent! Extremely joyful and engaging - really brightened up my day. Audience member, Coastival 2016
Over the past 20 years AAM has built up an extensive library of over 1,000 signed songs. The small sample that we’ve uploaded to the online resource bank are some of the songs that we use as a starting point when we’re working with new groups. These songs don’t require any previous experience of singing and signing. They’ve been chosen because they work well in a broad range of formal and informal music-making settings, including special needs.
An excellent session - introducing us to the joys of signing and signing, such fun! … The apprentices were excellent and gave me, a complete beginner, the confidence to take part and learn. Participant from a H&V apprentice-led workshop
Our resources are designed to be flexible - we adapt the songs to suit the age, ability level and musical experience of the people we’re working with. If you’re a music leader looking to explore singing and signing, the resource packs explain some of the different approaches we’ve used for each song. All songs have been categorised, with different levels for both singing and signing, so that groups can progress through the different levels as they become more confident.
AAM was one of the first organisations in the UK to bring singing and signing to the mainstream through our award winning Hands & Voices singing and signing choir, established in 1996. Since then we’ve worked with a wide range of groups and organisations, from the Royal College of Music in London and the Royal Northern College of Music in Manchester to Aviva Insurance and our local NHS Trust and our local playgroup. With all of these groups, singing and signing has provided a fun, inclusive and accessible route into music making.
My personal highlight of the afternoon, however, was the inclusive singing and signing session led by apprentices Martin and Hayley, from Accessible Arts & Media’s Hands & Voices Choir. Following an active warm-up where we explored a jungle (yes, a jungle!) we all got to sing and sign a fantastic calypso song. I could not stop smiling after this session and the song itself was a pleasant earworm for the remainder of the evening. Participant in a H&V apprentice-led workshop at the NYMAZ SEND Music Network Gathering 2014