Billy & Andy’s Music School is musicians Billy Payne and Andy Haines. We are SEN specialists and creative technologists. We both have full DBS checks and extensive experience of working with people with additional needs. Scroll down to read about how we got started. You can also click to learn about what we do, or hear what people think of us.
It all began with the Holiday Music School, a summer music club we put together as support workers at Loreto College in Manchester. From our work at the college we knew how important it was for children with additional needs to be given the same opportunities for creative expression as everyone else. But we also knew this required tailored support that wasn’t always available outside of term time. And since we didn’t want the start of the holidays to bring on a creative and educational drought, we decided to do something about it!
Music seemed the obvious choice. We could both still remember the sense of achievement and autonomy we felt when we shakily blasted out our first guitar riff. It didn’t matter how it sounded to anyone else – to us, the ones making the sound, it was inspiring. It was what propelled us from exploring music in our bedrooms to writing songs in bands. We loved that feeling only musical sound could give us, and we were (and always will be) on the lookout for new musical inspiration, searching for a sound we'd yet to explore.
With the Holiday Music School we'd found the inspiration we'd been looking for. But the sounds weren't ours - they were the students'. We saw how music made accessible could give people with disabilities a chance to do things on their own terms, to engage in something they were in control of. We knew we wanted to share this way of thinking about music and learning, and we knew there were many more people whose musical potential was yet untapped. So in 2014 we decided to start Billy & Andy's Music School, and people have been inspiring us ever since.