Welburn Hall School, North Yorkshire

Welburn Hall is a special school based in an old Jacobean manor house just outside Kirkbymoorside in North Yorkshire. It caters for pupils aged 8 to 19 years, with a wide range of physical and learning difficulties.

Music Coordinator Julie Green was inspired to apply for funding for specialist music technology after attending a NYMAZ (the North Yorkshire Music Action Zone) SEND Network Event in October 2013. A subsequent visit to the Dales School in Northallerton convinced her that Ensemble should be part of that setup.

We asked Julie to tell us about her first steps with Ensemble.

Welburn Hall School

Can you tell me about the children you work with?

I teach pupils fom 8-16 with varying learning difficulties ranging from PMLD to MLD. We have been using Apollo Ensemble with all our pupils over the last few months.

It has been a great way of introducing IT into my music lessons and also ensures we cover aspects of both the IT and science curriculum through music.

What are the main reasons for using Ensemble in your lessons?

It is rewarding for some of our pupils who cannot, because of physical difficulties, play traditional instruments to be able to make quality sounds at the push of a button.

The other thing I really like is that it can be used at different levels; some of my more able pupils can make choices, select the sound they make and start to make simple compositions, whilst others can simply use the button to make pre-selected sounds.

Can you explain a couple of ways you've used the equipment?

With one of my younger classes recently, we used it to make different animal sounds whilst singing 'Old Macdonald'. They each chose their own animal sound and played it at the appropriate time. With another class we created a composition on the theme of Carnival. They chose their own sound and one pupil acted as a conductor telling the others through the use of green and red cards when they should start and stop their sounds.

So how would you sum up Ensemble?

I would strongly recommend it as a really useful and successful addition to any school's music resources.

Julie Green

Julie is the Music Coordinator for Welburn Hall School and a member of the NYMAZ SEND Steering Group.

Key pieces of equipment


An interface for existing assistive switches.


Welburn Hall School

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