Working with Sounds

Working with Sounds is a music based programme to help communication partners engage more effectively with each other. The programme increases the ability to recognise and respond to nonverbal communication cues and supports the development of positive, effective self expression and learning.

Who can benefit?

Those who
• Would like to become more observant of and responsive to the non verbal communications of others
• Are seeking ways to make relevant aspects of the NZC and Key competencies accessible to learners
• Would like to express themselves more creatively and freely
• Find verbal communication difficult
• Miss out on essential learning due to their preference for solitary pursuits and/or do not refer to others to gain help and information
• Do not seem to enjoy the company of others
• Struggle with depression, anxiety or frustration due to lack of effective communication

When to use it?

• Throughout the day to focus and motivate, ready to learn and engage
• To access and connect learners with relevant aspects of the NZC and key competencies
• Prior to tasks which require increased levels of participation
• When wanting to communicate and relate to others but having difficulty expressing oneself adequately
• When feeling isolated, frustrated, depressed or anxious due to a lack of participation and involvement

What is covered in a Working with Sounds workshop?

• Suggestions and advice on how to use each of the 11 tracks on the CD, covering sensory and cognitive aspects of learning and communicating
• practical help and advice for your specific situation
• giving practical examples on how this programme can work, based on our and others’ experiences
• How to connect with the NZC and Key competencies to focus and maximise learning
• How to adapt and extend each part of the programme to become flexible and responsive to the changing needs and abilities of your learner and communication partner
• Reflection and analysis of work practices

What workshops/seminars are available?

Workshops respond to specific situations and requests from participants with practical ideas and techniques; they provide intensive hands on training in small groups and can be held in classrooms with students on request.
Group size is limited.
Seminars introduce a range of practical ideas and techniques to cover a wide field of potential situations and common requests. Group size is not limited.


The outcomes noted for our learners speak for themselves in terms of the effectiveness of this programme. This programme astutely acknowledges the uniqueness of our learners whilst enabling extended engagement on a personal and highly motivating level. Working with Sounds is a core daily programme within our classes and a highlight in the school day. Ellie Salcin-Watts, Music Therapist and Assistant Principal, Maitai School, Nelson