Hong Kong, China – Over a dozen young conductors with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) were recently provided with the opportunity to conduct a musical piece for internationally renowned cellist Matthew Barley.
The 20 teens and young adults took part in two workshops that not only enabled them to participate effectively in the music making process, it also allowed them to both meet and interact with Barley as well. The workshops were developed by Music for Autism, a charity designed to enable individuals with the disorder to connect with others through music.
Because both children and adults on the spectrum often find it difficult to engage in activities that allow them to work collaboratively with their peers, the organization provides an outlet for them to do so effectively. Founded in 2002 by John Lubbock, a respected conductor whose son has autism, the charity initially operated on a local level.
However today it has expanded to the Far East and subsequently launched an Asian branch of the organization last year. Music for Autism has also teamed up with other agencies including New Life Psychiatric, an organization that was recently given a 7 million dollar grant from the Hong Kong Jockey Club. Both groups now plan to expand their respective programs in order to further meet the needs of those on the spectrum.
Source: Oliver Chou on the South China Morning Post website: Autistic Hong Kong conductors win rave reviews from cellist Matthew Barley