Sue Simmonds

Sue is a founder member of Soundabout. For the past twenty years, she has been instrumental in developing and sustaining Soundabout's mission to use sound and music to provide enabling opportunities for self-expression for all people with physical disabilities and sensory and complex needs across the age span. Her particular interest is in providing for those with profound and multiple learning disabilities (PMLD) and with Autism (ASD).

Sue's main and sustained focus has been instilling confidence in those who support people with learning disabilities to believe that they can use musical ideas to provide meaningful opportunities for self-expression, active participation and building relationships.

She has just completed a PG Cert in Sounds of Intent and taken part in researching musical development in young children in children's centres across the country.

Isabel Bedford

Isabel Bedford has been a music practitioner for Soundabout since 2013, leading workshops for people with learning disabilities across the age span. She is currently working on the national Sounds of Intent in the Early Years (SOI-EY) project, running sessions for under-5s and their families/carers and delivering staff training in SoI-EY. As a project coordinator Isabel has worked on a wide variety of early years, special needs and hospital music projects. She has also worked as a special needs teaching assistant, an early year’s music workshop leader and an English language teacher in Europe and beyond. Isabel has recently been involved in international skills-sharing projects with Music as Therapy International.

Isabel completed undergraduate studies in music at The University of Manchester in 2006 and gained a master’s degree in ethnomusicology at The School of Oriental and African Studies in 2011. She completed the Postgraduate Certificate in Music and Special Needs (Sounds of Intent) in 2013-14. She is currently training as a music therapist at the University of the West of England.

Pete Ord

Pete Ord is a Producer, Musician and Educator based in the East of England. A Community musician for the over 5 years Pete trained with acclaimed arts company Whitewood and Fleming and has experience working with SEND, Looked After Children, Youth Offenders, PRU and Vulnerable Adults. Specialising in assistive music technologies and songwriting Pete uses aspects of both in all his creative work. Having completed a PGCert in Music and Special Needs in 2014 Pete delivers creative sessions, as well as training for Soundabout focused on creative pupil lead music making often incorporating Skoog, Soundbeam and iPads.

Will Taggart

BA Composition and Professional Practice - Coventry University, 2006.

PG Cert Music and Special Needs: ‘Sounds of Intent’ - Roehampton University, 2016.

Music Educator and Performer. Will has been working for 10 years as a music teacher in both Mainstream and Special Education and performing in professional bands on Bass Guitar and Saxophone. Currently working in a primary setting for children with Social Emotional and Mental Health Difficulties Will is the Creative Arts Lead providing 1 to 1 and group sessions. Will gained an internship with the charity in early 2015 working on the national launch of the Sounds of Intent in the Early Years project. Following on from this he received a sponsorship by Soundabout to complete the PGCert Music and Special Needs: ‘Sounds of Intent’. Now working as a Soundabout music practitioner Will is part of the Sounds of Intent in the Early Years team and has developed the Sounds Modern project with Pete Ord.

Felicity Corbyn

Felicity Corbyn has a degree in English/ Drama which included set design and an MA in Special Needs. As a primary/nursery teacher, she created a wide range of environments for themes and plays that she used to run every summer for many years. She has been a Soundabout practitioner since 2006, working in SEN schools around the country and is responsible for setting up Soundabout’s festivals, planning, resourcing and creating themes such as ‘The Quest’, ‘The Amazon Rain Forest’ and ‘Caribbean Carnival’. Felicity successfully completed her PGCert in Music and Special Needs in 2014.

Harry Dawes

Harry Dawes has worked in the areas of arts and education for over 35 years and has been a practitioner/consultant with Soundabout since 2006. In 1992 he joined the artist team at InnerSense, an organisation that runs a unique programme of immersive theatre workshops for people with PMLD, SLD and autism, where he continues to work as a practitioner and photographer, as well as overseeing their outreach work. In 2013/14 he co-ordinated a research project at InnerSense to support the development of the Sounds of Intent framework with regard to the impact of multisensory work on people with learning disabilities. He also works as a freelance arts practitioner in special education and as a musician regularly performs on the trombone and theremin. Harry successfully completed his PGCert in Music and Special Needs in 2014.

Stephen Pratley

Steve Pratley has over 20 years’ experience of working in the areas of creativity, music and communication in Special Needs Education. He has been a Soundabout practitioner since its formation in 1998. Steve is also co-director of Flash of Splendour Arts, a community arts organisation which specialises in creating ground-breaking exhibitions with young people with autism and learning disabilities, and a trustee of the Exuberant Trust which assists young Oxfordshire musicians and creative artists. Steve is currently undertaking the PGCert in Music and Special Needs during 2016/17.


Lauren Storey

Lauren graduated from Birmingham Conservatoire on the French horn and then completed her PGCert in Music and Special Needs: Sounds of intent in 2017. When studying for her A Levels it was suggested to Lauren that she volunteered with Y-Not Arts, a charity in Northampton that provide music, dance and drama to children and young people with additional needs. Lauren has since volunteered with other organisations to gain insight into this work and is very keen to learn all things Soundabout!

Karen Nicholson

Karen is a mature music undergraduate student at the University of Birmingham whom is due to graduate in July 2018. After many years of working in administration Karen decided it was time for a career change and finally embraced the exciting world of University where she combined her passion for music alongside her love of voluntary community work. Her interest in music and disabilities developed from the love of her uncle whom had additional learning needs and was quite the one man band with his keyboard and harmonica! Karen volunteers in a variety of local community groups in and around the midlands area and is extremely excited to be part of the Soundabout team where she is looking forward to developing her skills and working towards her PG Cert in Music and Special Needs 2018/2019.