Arts and culture: David Stanley

Arts and culture: David Stanley

Arts and culture: David Stanley

Introduction

Engaging in art can significantly improve wellbeing, especially for disabled people. There are currently 14 million disabled people in the UK, but they are significantly less likely to participate in cultural, leisure and sporting activities than non-disabled people.

"My Fellowship to New York was the continuation of my life’s work to make an impact on more people with my music." - David Stanley, Fellow

Music specialist David Stanley (CF 2019) is a disability rights campaigner who promotes accessibility within music education. He is the CEO and founder of The Music Man Project, a charity that delivers music education and performance opportunities for learning-disabled people. David has enabled his students to perform at the London Palladium and Royal Albert Hall, break a world record for the largest triangle ensemble and appear on TV.

Since completing his Fellowship, David has expanded the areas in which The Music Man Project operates to other regions in the UK, including Northern Ireland and Wales, and around the world. The charity has also partnered with the University of Kent and developed links with King’s College London, the UCL Institute of Education, the Royal College of Music and the Manhattan School of Music to promote accessible music learning. The aim of these partnerships is to educate mainstream society through research and joint performances. To tell the stories of his charity’s beneficiaries, David writes a blog and presents his own podcast which is now a regular monthly feature on a local radio station in Essex, where he lives.

In October 2020, David successfully saved a university music department in the USA which he had visited during his Fellowship. David spoke to a special consultation meeting about the closure of the music department of Kean University, New Jersey, and asked them to reconsider due to the devastating effect the closure would have on their local learning-disabled community. This made a crucial difference in keeping the department open.

In recognition of his services to people with special needs, David was awarded a BEM in the 2021 Queen’s New Year Honours List. David has also been appointed as a UK Government Disability and Access Ambassador for arts and culture and is an advisory panel member for the National Plan for Music Education. His Fellowship to the USA researched different approaches to music education for learning disabled people.

David says, “My Fellowship to New York was the continuation of my life’s work to make an impact on more people with my music. Inspired and motivated by the experience, I returned to reform the accessible art education sector and to truly fulfil my personal and professional potential.”

"My Fellowship to New York was the continuation of my life’s work to make an impact on more people with my music." - David Stanley, Fellow

Music specialist David Stanley (CF 2019) is a disability rights campaigner who promotes accessibility within music education. He is the CEO and founder of The Music Man Project, a charity that delivers music education and performance opportunities for learning-disabled people. David has enabled his students to perform at the London Palladium and Royal Albert Hall, break a world record for the largest triangle ensemble and appear on TV.

Since completing his Fellowship, David has expanded the areas in which The Music Man Project operates to other regions in the UK, including Northern Ireland and Wales, and around the world. The charity has also partnered with the University of Kent and developed links with King’s College London, the UCL Institute of Education, the Royal College of Music and the Manhattan School of Music to promote accessible music learning. The aim of these partnerships is to educate mainstream society through research and joint performances. To tell the stories of his charity’s beneficiaries, David writes a blog and presents his own podcast which is now a regular monthly feature on a local radio station in Essex, where he lives.

In October 2020, David successfully saved a university music department in the USA which he had visited during his Fellowship. David spoke to a special consultation meeting about the closure of the music department of Kean University, New Jersey, and asked them to reconsider due to the devastating effect the closure would have on their local learning-disabled community. This made a crucial difference in keeping the department open.

In recognition of his services to people with special needs, David was awarded a BEM in the 2021 Queen’s New Year Honours List. David has also been appointed as a UK Government Disability and Access Ambassador for arts and culture and is an advisory panel member for the National Plan for Music Education. His Fellowship to the USA researched different approaches to music education for learning disabled people.

David says, “My Fellowship to New York was the continuation of my life’s work to make an impact on more people with my music. Inspired and motivated by the experience, I returned to reform the accessible art education sector and to truly fulfil my personal and professional potential.”