Music In Mind Symposium

13 November 2021 to 28 November 2021

- A Symposium on the Impact of Neurodiversity -

A Joint Event presented by the Wimbledon International Music Festival
in association with the Society for Education, Music and Psychology Research

The three sessions share a common narrative: a review of the impact of each condition on early musical development, learning and teaching during childhood and adolescence, and the experience of the professional musician.

The purpose of the event is …
- raising awareness of Neurodiversty
- breaking down stereotypes …
- celebrating potential …

The Schedule for the Day

10.30 Arrival: Coffee andWelcome

11.00 - 11.15 Address

Introduction by Adam Ockelford: Chairman
• the three conditions (autism, deafness and blindness) to be explored during the day: ??
• the people who will be participating in the discussions and demonstrations, including foreign participants joining by streaming
• the narrative, and the parents’ perspectives
• the plasticity of the early brain, and the lifespan development
• the general contributions of the three conditions to the evolution of music

Opening Address by Gina Miller:
‘The Role of the Arts in Social Inclusion for Exceptional People

SESSION ONE: 11.15 –12.50 MUSIC and AUTISM

Panel to include:
• Caitlin O’Shaughnessy PhD , music and autism researcher
• John Lubbock, OBE, conductor, Founder of the Orchestra of St John’s and the charity ‘Music for Autism’
• Guest musicologist [TBC]

- Impact of autism on musical development and cognition
- Working with children on the autism spectrum
- Demands, and work concentration of the professional musician
- The lived experience

12.00 - 12.15 Mini Break

Guest musicologist:
- Case studies of great musicians: Mozart – Glenn Gould with video examples

12.30 - 12.50 Performance
Music Savant: DEREK PARVICINI, with A.O.

12.50–14.15 LUNCH BREAK


Panel to include:
• Dr Hanna Marsden,
• Eloise Garland
• Michael Berkeley composer
• Dame Evelyn Glennie, percussion
• Ann Rachlin Beethoven Fund for Deaf Children
• [Prof Graham Welch. Acquired hearing loss as a singer]

Michael Berkeley introduces a performance of his piano suite ‘Haiku’ a musical depiction of birds motion in flight

Dr Marsden: The impact of deafness on musical development and cognition

Michael Berkeley The lived experience of a composer and performer with acquired hearing loss, and how it manifested itself in his work

- The impact of deafness on Beethoven’s life as a musician, and output and development as a composer
- Other composers with hearing loss: William Boyce, Bedrich Smetana, Gabriel Faure, Ralph Vaughan Williams - and what the experience brought to their music

Dame Evelyn Glennie
- The lived experience of performing musicians with hearing loss
Also the Career hazard for orchestral and pop musicians.

Audience participation; incl
• Tama Matheson actor, director, author of Beethoven ‘I Shall Hear in Heaven’


16.00–16.45: TEA BREAK
De-rig Glennie percussion


Panel to include:
• Dr Angela Voyajolu
• Alyn Shipton jazz record requests, [TBC]
• Michael Berkeley Composers
• Ann Rachlin - Working with blind children. Friend of Eric Fenby

Dr Voyajolu: Impact of blindness on musical development and cognition
- Hyperacusis and increased concentration on sound often displayed by improvising musicians:
Organists: Helmut Walcha - Jean Langlais - Louis Vierne;

Jazz: Stevie Wonder - Ray Charles - George Shearing - Art Tatum - Lennie Tristiano

Musical Brail - with music extracts.

Composers: & The role of the amanuensis
JS Bach [dictated scores of his final works] - Handel - Rodrigo - Delius

Ann Rachin, Eric Fenby and Delius
Discussion to include video examples:
Ken Russell’s moving portrait of the final years of the life of Frederick Delius,
Scene with Delius dictating to Eric Fenby

17.30– 17.40 SEMINAR CLOSE

Prof Graham Welch: Closing remarks and summary:
The Role of Music in Social Inclusion for Exceptional Individuals

17.40–18.00 REFRESHMENTS

18.00– 19.00 A CONCERT by performers from the Amber Trust.

The seminar curators
• Adam Ockelford, Professor of Music at the University of Roehampton, a composer, performer, author teacher and researcher, with an interest in working with children of special abilities and needs.

• Professor Graham Welch, Chair of Music Education at University College London, specialising in musical development and education across the lifespan, the psychology of music in special education and disability, and the wider benefits of music. Originally a professional bass singer his views are informed by his own experience of deafness.

From WIMF Box Office [Ticket Source] or through SEMPRE

Tickets are available for each individual session as follows
Session One - £25
Session Two, with Dame Evelyn Glennie percussion demonstration £35
Session Three - £25.

Full Day tickets £75. Student reduction to £35 [restricted numbers might apply]

For tickets please go to the box office: