SHINE was part of our on-going partnership with Leicester-Shire Music Education Hub. Together with Sinfonia Viva, we developed new ways of delivering the music education and instrumental tuition in Special Educational Needs and Disability (SEND) schools.

What we wanted to achieve

The project enabled us to combine our extensive knowledge of the orchestral sector, music technology and artistic partners with our partnership approach, to support the Music Education Hub (MEH) in providing the right support and opportunities for inclusive music making.

We also helped the MEH to develop its SEND music curriculum which is now embedded in every SEN school in the City and County. It enabled Sinfonia Viva to establish an on-going relationship with the MEH, supporting their SEND curriculum with participatory music making opportunities with those schools.

This project has changed my life. Before this, I never thought that I would be able to perform in public. It has helped me with my confidence and meant that I can do things that I never thought possible.

~ Participant feedback

A boy playing a triangle, held on a yellow ribbon above his head.

SHINE project in Leicestershire with Sinfonia Viva

Credit: Chris Webb

What happened

Two lead musicians – Ben Sellers from Transformance Music and Jack Ross from Sinfonia Viva – worked with students aged 10-14 years from four SEND schools, supporting them to compose and perform new work. In their weekly band sessions, they used both traditional acoustic instruments and iPads, which utilised apps to support students in composition and improvisation.

Two in-school sharing days brought together each of the acoustic instrument/iPad pairs of schools to perform their material, along with an ensemble of eight musicians from Sinfonia Viva. The project culminated in various public performances including at De Montfort Hall in Leicester as part of Leicestershire schools’ annual celebration of music.

We want to do more of this. They have loved every minute and have changed beyond recognition. It is just so important that it carries on.

~ Teachers from participating schools


The project resulted in the music service developing a specific music curriculum for SEND schools in the county, as well as the creation of practical guides and resources on how to create iPad bands in mainstream primary schools. We worked collaboratively with our partners to increase the amount of music tuition, as well as improving teacher knowledge and skills in music making in SEND schools.


The SHINE project was produced in partnership between Orchestras Live and Leicester-Shire Music Education Hub with Sinfonia Viva.