Joy of Sound runs music sessions for people with severe disabilities and impairments in Lambeth

A charity is harnessing the power of music to help people in Lambeth with severe disabilities and impairments break down communications barriers.

Joy of Sound runs music sessions open to all including older people and people living with learning disabilities, autism, dementia, mental health challenges and long-term physical conditions.

The charity is running weekly sessions at St Peter’s Heritage Centre, in Vauxhall, on Fridays, thanks to a £48,620 grant from City Bridge Trust – the City of London Corporation’s charity funder.

Joy of Sound avoids the confines of songs with lyrics or sheet music in favour of improvised sessions where participants build their own compositions using rhythm, melody and even silence.

Joy of Sound director and trustee Chris Leeds said: “Our ethos is to create a non-judgmental space where individual creativity can come out and people can participate independently as equals, building confidence and self-esteem.

“There’s an incredible feeling of exhilaration from making music with others and taking part in a process that doesn’t have to use words – it can move you to tears.

“People often come in with their heads down and walk out with their chest out and their head held high, showing an elevated mood.”

Lambeth resident Lisa Contucci attends Joy of Sound sessions and enjoys playing instruments including a zither with a bespoke assistive strumming device.

Her support worker, Pam, said: “The participants bring their own creative contribution to the table. Lisa is always feeling happy by the end of the session. It’s not about what participants can’t do but what they can do. The session gives everyone a sense of importance and value.”


Pictured: Lisa Contucci at a Joy of Sound session Picture: Joy of Sounds

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