Spotlight on Dylan
Dylan is 12 and plays the piano and the trombone. At school he plays in a brass group as well as being part of a young developers group at the Shepway Brass Academy at weekends. Dylan’s music teacher nominated him for the National Orchestra for All in 2018 after recognising his dedication to and love for music. Dylan has complex needs: sensory difficulties, early life trauma, autism and language difficulties mean that he can present with challenging behaviour and finds it hard to communicate verbally. However, with a support worker present to help Dylan access the experience fully, NOFA has provided a place for Dylan to develop his musical ability whilst being an important and equal part of a larger musical group.
Music serves as an amazing platform to engage with other people, and with NOFA Dylan is able to work with a group of people his own age from all around the UK, allowing him to be independent and responsible, and yet contributing actively to a large music group made up of his peers. Suzanne, Dylan’s foster mum, says she noticed a new confidence in him after his first NOFA experience, and feels that playing music in this environment gives him a sense of community and something special to try for and strive towards. “He absolutely loves it and can't wait for the next session to begin. It has given him a highlight to look forward to.”
Despite the challenges in Dylan’s life, his achievements in music show that with the right attitude and support so much is possible. The community of NOFA is wide-reaching, inclusive and diverse, and everyone at NOFA is committed to the idea that music-making should be accessible for all.