“Everyone deserves access to high-quality classical music, no matter their age, abilities or background.” - Grace Kim

Airena Nakamura Violin
Teije Hylkema Cello 
Grace Kim Piano 

As a classical musician and mother of two, Grace Kim has always known the value of making music a part of children’s lives and the crucial role it plays in brain development. But when her oldest child was diagnosed with Asperger’s Syndrome and struggled in live music settings, she saw a need to bridge the gap between comfortable performance environments and audiences with special needs.
And so, Sensory Concerts was born.

Sensory Concerts is a series of high-quality classical concerts for children and adults with sensory/special needs, directed by Grace Kim.
An internationally respected concert pianist and music educator, Grace and her colleagues perform to small audiences in accommodating spaces, giving children and adults the opportunity to hear and see live music without feeling overwhelmed.

With various seating options, retreat areas and on-site therapist support, Sensory Concerts make it easy for people to self-regulate.

“We really don’t mind if people need to move around, lie on a crash mat or take time out from everyone else for a while,’’ says Grace. “I program the music especially with this in mind so that everyone can engage and benefit without feeling overwhelmed or restricted.’’

Whether it’s a sensitivity to crowds, noise, light, smell and/or touch, audience members’ individual needs are taken into account, creating a safe and accepting place to enjoy live classical music.

Sensory Concerts are a series of high-quality classical music concerts for families with sensory/special needs, commonly associated with Autism Spectrum Disorder.

People with sensory needs are easily overwhelmed by crowds, noise, light, smell, and touch. Young children are especially sensitive to their surroundings and tend to react in certain ways (eg. moving, making noise) to cope. That’s why families with children tend to shy away from traditional concerts in fear of judgement and disrupting others.

Sensory Concerts differs from traditional concert expectations with small numbers, various seating options, retreat space, and on-site therapist support, providing a more relaxed atmosphere, giving the audience opportunities to self-regulate.

All members of the community of all ages and all walks of life benefit from Sensory Concerts. Though the concerts are designed with sensory needs in mind, we've had a diverse range of audiences of various neurodivergent, intellectual and physical abilities. Feedback includes "I have not heard my client speak before - but in this concert, after each piece, I heard him say ‘thank you’" "Loved that the kids had cushions/mats and were free to get up if needed. It was a relaxing environment for all. The music was beautiful, thrilled to see such talent."

"The whole thing was amazing! They were so understanding. The music was brilliant and I loved how she explained everything".

Sensory Concerts bring people together who may feel socially isolated due to their challenges, to have equal access to quality music without fear of judgement.

Beethoven Allegro from Piano trio no 1 in E-flat major, op 1 no 1
Grieg Morning and In The Hall of the Mountain King from Peer Gynt Suite
Grieg Arietta
Bizet ‘Habanera’ from Carmen
Saint-Saëns The Swan from Carnival of the Animals
Kreisler Schön Rosmarin
Haydn Rondo from Piano Trio no 39 in G major, Hob. XV 'Gypsy'

 

Availability

17 May - 14 June 2022

Workshops

The artists are available to present talks and forums for music teachers on the topics of:

  • Special needs music education and
  • Piano, including technical and exam preparation

Book Artist

Travel to centres in regional NSW is subsidised through the support of Create NSW. Musica Viva can book the artists, arrange all travel and accommodation, provide posters, flyers and program information.
If you are interested in bringing an ensemble to your town or city, please contact:

Sean Moloney

Manager, Special Projects & Regional Touring

smoloney@musicaviva.com.au