Concert for people with sensory issues at Glenbrook

At ease: Sit in comfort at a sensory concert in Glenbrook.
At ease: Sit in comfort at a sensory concert in Glenbrook.

People with sensory issues that prevent them from attending public events such as concerts can immerse themselves in a specially designed live music performance at Glenbrook on April 23.

To be held on a weekday during school holidays to cater for aged care facilities, centres for people with a disability and families, it will feature acclaimed musicians Erica Kennedy on violin, flautist Lisa Osmialowski and Bullaburra concert pianist Grace Kim.

Part of the Sensory Concerts series, it has been designed for all ages, especially families with sensory or special needs such as autism spectrum disorder, physical or intellectual disabilities who experience feelings of being overwhelmed by crowds, noise, light, smell and touch.

Performed to small groups in a relaxed atmosphere, there will be a range of seating options and a retreat space where audience members can seek support from the on-site occupational therapist and psychologist.

“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,’’ Ms Kim said.

“We select music especially so that everyone benefits from the power of the music without feeling overwhelmed or restricted.’’

Ms Kim knows first hand the benefits of music to health and wellbeing, and strives to make it accessible to everyone who needs it.

A mother of two young children, one with Asperger’s syndrome, Ms Kim said: “Young children are especially sensitive to their surroundings and tend to react in certain ways like moving or making noise, to cope.

“That’s why families with children tend to shy away from traditional concerts for fear of disrupting others.

“But we all know that music is one of the best things for the brain development, and these families miss out on the crucial time when their brain are developing.’’

Subsidised through a Blue Mountains City of the Arts grant, which make them affordable, the next concert will be at Lower Mountains Anglican Parish, 1 Wascoe St, Glenbrook, at 10.45am and noon on Monday, April 23. Tickets: $25 adults, $65 families (2 adults, up to 3 children), $15 children under 16 years. See https://www.trybooking.com/TTID.