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Music Man Project Training Module

Music Education and Performance for People with Learning Disabilities

Part 1: Introduction  



“For someone who would scream with fear when more than 4 people gathered in the room to someone who has sung solo at the London Palladium in front of 1500 people is a gratitude that I can only bestow on David because he was the one who made this possible… I can only say that without David my daughter would still be sitting in the corner of the lounge getting more fearful and frustrated with life, leading me into a deeper and darker place wondering if there was ever going to be any good come into hers or my life”.


This moving testimonial by a mother of a child with autism inspired teacher, composer and Churchill Fellow, David Stanley to establish ‘The Music Man Project’. His charity is the UK’s first fulltime music education and performance service specifically for children and adults with learning disabilities.


In his presentation, David explains his approach to teaching people with special educational needs. He reveals his ambition for them as musical performers capable of entertaining large audiences in spectacular concerts at iconic venues. He explains how he aims to think bigger, to be aspirational and inspirational on behalf of his musicians both across the UK and around the world. His award-winning music service has reached the four corners of the United Kingdom, along with South Africa, India, Nepal, the Philippines and the United States of America.


David considers the difference between education and therapy and explores his original repertoire which has become the soundtrack of his students’ lives. He campaigns for the rights of people with disabilities to perform at the world’s greatest venues, going beyond accessible performances for disabled audiences to accessible venues for disabled performers. He believes the Arts should follow the Paralympic movement in Sport by providing more investment for this uniquely expressive global community to perform. He believes barriers to opportunity are the next frontier for this once-forgotten society.


David presents from his home in Leigh-on-Sea in the South East of England and shares videos and photos from his acclaimed, ground-breaking UK Music Man Project performances at the London Palladium theatre and the Royal Albert Hall.

For further information about David Stanley and the Music Man Project please visit the following links:


Supporting Documents and Resources

PDF Slide Deck 


The Music Man Project Information Booklet

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