Irish Breakthrough brings hope to kids with disabilities
Conductology... creating a world where EVERY child can play music
A ground-breaking gesture language pioneered in Ireland is making it easier for children with disabilities to create and play music.
Dr. Denise White, a multi-award winning, educator from Ireland who has gained global recognition for her work with vulnerable children and adults and Shaun Healy the world's first person with severe intellectual disabilities to conduct an orchestra, invented the scientifically-
The methodology took six years of extensive research, trialling and refining at the Derry Campus of Ulster University. Conductology can be used within any music and sound environment introducing everyone to inclusive and accessible music-making including via the means of adaptive music technology and a range of sound objects.
Shaun who lives with 'global development delay,' described his life before Conductology as, "I was trapped in a dark tunnel with no way out." He attended a Special Needs school, cannot read or write, has a tremor in his hands and suffered extensively from what he called "his anxiety monster."
However, now Shaun has no anxiety, his hands do not shake when he conducts using the Conductology system and he has defeated the 'anxiety monster.'
He is a Master Conductologist, training and mentoring in the ground-breaking methodology. He conducts orchestras, choirs and ensembles and has delivered speeches and presentations to policymakers, influencers etc. as well as significantly advancing many skills. Shaun's first ensemble included performers with Down syndrome, Cerebral Palsy, Asperger's syndrome and global developmental delay.
Deborah Kelleher, C.E.O. Royal Irish Academy of Music, described the concept as "… a real game-changer,"
In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, Denise and Shaun have developed an online Academy, 'the University of Conductology,' with it's own social network so that the academic, physical, mental and social benefits of Conductology can be enjoyed without breaking 'Physical-distancing' guidelines.
This will mean an opportunity for all to participate in local orchestras or ensembles either remotely/online or via mainstream schools and colleges when they reopen. Opportunities that have been denied to 1 in 7 of the population in the Republic of Ireland, 1 in 5 in the U.K., for generations. Now, not only can any child, young adult or adult with any disability, 'go to college,' make new friends, advance many skills but can also enjoy creating and playing high-quality music.
Academic courses are also available remotely in the online academy, the University of Conductology at www.conductology.ie