Local children and young people with disabilities will receive specialist music lessons, thanks to a £15,000 grant from Middlesex Freemasons, through the Masonic Charitable Foundation (MCF), to the Otakar Kraus Music Trust (OKMT).

Children and young people with disabilities such as Cerebral Palsy, ASD and Down’s syndrome will discover their innate abilities and develop their musical talent, with some studying for and passing music exams.

The Otakar Kraus Music Trust is based in the London Borough of Richmond and was set up in 1991 to provide music lessons and therapy for children and young people who have physical, psychological, learning, behavioural or emotional difficulties. The OKMT have provided nearly 3,000 individual and group music sessions each year, supporting over 290 people in Richmond, Hounslow and surrounding boroughs.

The music lessons will be held by qualified music therapists and using specialised methods enable pupils to gradually learn to play an instrument or sing. The lessons help to improve their well-being and quality of life through creative and participatory music making, plus enable them to make friends through joint music making and feel part of the community.

The new funding will also enable the Trust to expand their service to include more beneficiaries currently on their waiting list.

We’re incredibly grateful to Middlesex Freemasons for their generous grant, which will help us transform people’s lives through music. These children have been on our waiting list for a long time, and we’re thrilled they’re able to start their musical journeys.

Clare Lawrence, Director from Otakar Kraus

Barry Cramer from Middlesex Freemasons, said:

“I’m very pleased we’ve been able to help Otakar Kraus. They do excellent work with disabled children and young people, providing them with qualified music therapists and specialised methods to enable them to learn to play an instrument or sing, and perform in public.”

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