‘Four by Eight’ is getting creative!  

Photo: ‘Four by Eight’ is getting creative!  


Music’s important because you can use music in all different ways. If you can’t use your hands you can use another body part to play an instrument and feel the vibrations. It’s accessible for anyone.”
DIY Young Leader

Four by Eight is DIY’s unique training and development opportunity for musicians wanting to develop their inclusive music skills, working in partnership with leaders with lived experience of learning disability. Thanks to Youth Music we have funding for one and a half years for this innovative work. We are now ready to develop a programme of music-based workshops offering high quality engagement in music for children and young people with learning disabilities.

Earlier this year we recruited 6 fantastic musicians: Jodie, Anna, Sophie, Joe, Awen and Benji.

Music’s really, really good for peoples’ brains – everyone’s brains… I think there is not enough value in today’s world on something created just for people to enjoy. And often it is that and I really like the fact that we’ve done that as a race and as a people and as a thing. We’ve made something for people just to like and that’s really special.”
Four by Eight Musician”

Throughout September and October 2022 they have taken part in three training sessions, facilitated by DIY’s Lead Musician Sarah Atter.

  1. An introduction to ‘Sounds of Intent’ an inclusive framework of musical development
  2. Sensory music making introduction to ‘Total Communication’ as an approach that encompasses the whole range of communication approaches
  3. Introduction to Intensive Interaction which teaches and develops the fundamentals of communication and conversation – such as using eye contacts, facial expressions, vocalisations and taking turns in creating conversation.
Photo of Adam with his list of skills that he can brings to the project. He is holding a large piece of paper with a hand drawn on it, around the hand is written some of his skills including 'taking videos, knowing about Autism, Listening, Recording on the ipad, playing music, taking photos'

DIY Young Leaders have been thinking about the strengths and experience they bring to the project.

Working with live musicians. We’re teaching them drama and they’re teaching us music. Then we’re going to put it together and do a little scene to take into schools.”
DIY Young Leader

Alongside the musicians’ training DIY Young Leaders Amy, Charlotte, Georgia, Viv, Adam and Scott have been exploring what they will bring to the project and what they would like to gain from it. Musicians and Young Leaders have got to know each other better and have been taking part in lots of music-based games and activities during regular sessions at Langworthy Cornerstone.

I think music is very important because it’s a different form of communication and it can unlock things with people and emotions that normal talking can’t – that are sometimes indescribable with words.”
Four by Eight Musician

It’s time to create some inclusive music workshops!

Following this initial period of training the musicians have been invited to apply for a commission to work alongside 6 of our Young Leaders to develop workshops for children and young people this Autumn.

We are really looking forward to the next stage of this project when Musicians and DIY Young Leaders will work together to create musical activities, resources, and workshop ideas suitable for children and young people with learning disabilities.

Meeting new people – both the participants of the project and the musicians and the creative leaders and learning what they do with other projects that they’re in as well as getting into that creative world which I’m really excited about. I guess being able to explore my leadership skills and creativity.”
Four by Eight Musician

During early 2023 these new workshops will be put into practice in Chatsworth Futures, Springwood School and DIY’s Youth Drama Group.

I think I’m really interested to see how people react to different types of music and different sounds – being able to explore different genres or instruments. I think that’s really interesting as a musician. It’s interesting for me then to be able to teach other people – see how much they engage in and enjoy it too. I want to share my passion for it as well.”
Four by Eight Musician


The Evaluation of 4 by 8 has now been completed – please click to view the Summary Report.

Our thanks to Youth Music who funded our Four by Eight programme.

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