Autism’s very Musical Children

An inspirational music teacher, Adam Ockelford, patiently and gently unlocks the potential of a number of severely autistic children, some with little or no speech. He coaxes them to greater and greater musical achievements by unraveling the chaos of sounds in their heads. His piano lessons bring order and a sense of achievement to their difficult and anxious lives. Over the course of a year he will set himself the huge challenge of preparing them for a public concert, which he feels will have an incredible impact on their self-esteem. This 1 x 60″ documentary will follow him and the children.

Romy (12) and Freddie (13), both profoundly autistic, had their lives completely changed thanks to Adam Ockelford. Both children have ‘Perfect pitch’, as many autistic children do. ‘Perfect pitch’ is the ability to play by ear. Each note is heard as separate and distinct and so once one knows which piano key is associated with a particular note, a piece of music can be played back just by just listening to it.

Adam Ockelford is Professor of Music at Roehampton University. He is an author and researcher and has written many academic papers on music and autism. He is one of the few teachers prepared to teach those with autism. He has dedicated much of his life finding ways to unlock and channel these children’s musicality. To sit in on Adam’s lessons is quite amazing; his patience is infinite. He gently pushes his pupils to greater and greater achievements.

Executive Producer: Andy Glynne

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