Tuesday, 24 March 2015

Noriko Ogawa and Jamie's Concerts

Jamie's Concerts
Pianist Noriko Ogawa's series Jamie's Concerts seem to be rather unique. They are aimed specifically at parents and carers of children with autism, though they are open also to people interested in autism. The concerts are designed to give the carers a chance to relax and listen in supportive environment, with the concerts designed to fit their busy and demanding lives. Generally free of charge, the concerts start at 11am and end well before the school day is over. Refreshments are served and the audience has chance to relax and chat.

One of Jamie's Concerts held by Noriko Ogawa in Japan
One of Jamie's Concerts held by Noriko Ogawa in Japan
The next Jamie's Concerts are in Manchester and London. On 22 April 2015 at the Barbirolli Room at the Bridgewater Hall (as part of the hall's Ravel and Rachmaninov Festival) and on 5 May 2015 at Milton Court Concert Hall, Guildhall School of Music in Drama. On 9 April 2015, Noriko Ogawa will also be giving an evening concert at St Peter's Eaton Square, London, as part of their 2015 Spring Series, and the concert will also be the official launch of Noriko Ogawa as an official Ambassador for the National Autistic Society. You can hear Norkio Ogawa talking about her charity work to Melanie Spanswick on a YouTube video.

When Noriko Ogawa first came to the UK, she lodged with a family with a child, Jamie, who had severe autism. Noriko Ogawa wanted to do something to help, and she found that when the child's carer was calm Jamie was calmer too, so the idea of helping 'behind the scenes' with Jamie's Concerts was born. You can learn more from Jamie's mother's blog, and there is a JustGiving page if you would like to contribute.

It has recently also been announced that the Guildhall School of Music and Drama, where Noriko Ogawa teaches, is to fund a research project looking at how attending concerts can help the parents and carers of children with autism, further information from the Guildhall School's website.

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