About Us: Passionate about making a difference for families living with difference
Alex Smith with Wendy B, mother of a 19 year old boy living with profound Autism, after filming a session of the This Way In To Music learning series.
Our Team: Alex Smith (L), Connie May MHST (Center), Ric Davidson (R) and Ron Brown (shown below).
The Team Behind Our Program
Founded by Australian Singer ALEX SMITH, and led by Writer/Director/Producer and Researcher Connie May MHST, Special Needs Education Program Advisor Ric Davidson, and production support from Producer/Director and Sound Editor Ron Brown.
This Way In To Music was a pilot project which aimed to help parents ADAPT to be able to more comfortably meet the social engagement needs of raising a child with a neuro-diverse condition or communication difference and/or learning difficulty – physical, socially, psychologically or linguistically.
In other words – a way to reduce isolation and encourage various social interactions (verbal or non-verbal) to help children have an enjoyable social session with the potential for skills transferance — all using the power of music and our innate affinity towards rythyms and sound.
All text, images and videos on this website are fully copyright protected. Reproduction of any kind of our proprietary program, materials, images, videos and content is a prosecutable offence.
This Way In To Music: Music Interaction and “Social Music Therapy” for Families with Autism or Asperger’s, or other Disabilities including Cerebral Palsy, Acquired Brain Injury (ABI), MND, Multiple Sclerosis and Downs Syndrome.
Philosophy of THIS WAY IN TO MUSIC (In brief)
- Enable and encourage socialisation, communication and connection through Music Interaction Activity Sessions
- Reducing social isolation and increasing social skills and family enjoyment
- Discovering RELAXATION, CONNECTION AND JOY in the day to day lives of families living with neuro-diversity and special needs
- Fully adaptable to different ability levels and a wide range of neurodiverse conditions
- Ideal for home use by parents and siblings and grandparents, as well as teaching and caring environments
- Encourages involvement by other family members – e.g. grandparents, siblings, parents, cousins and other family members — a way for neuro-typical individuals and neuro-atypical individuals to engage together in a fun, respectful and empowering way for a child who normally might avoid social interaction or self-isolate out of a lack of confidence.
Driven by personal experiences and a passion to inspire positive changes.
A parent of a child with neuro-diversity (ASD/Asperger’s), Singer and Founder Alex Smith and his wife know first hand the rewards – and challenges – of raising a child who has a different way of interacting with the world. But “where words fail, music speaks” as the famous saying goes.
And that’s what our program is all about – using MUSIC and SOUND to communicate with children with neuro-diversity, in a fun, engaging and comfort-building way, so that they can feel the sense of belonging, fun and connection that others in our society come by so easily.
Ideal for families living with Autism, Cerebral Palsy, MND, Multiple Sclerosis and ABI/Acquired Brain Injury or Downs Syndrome.
This Way In To Music (TWIM) was a pilot project that ended in January 2020. It was designed as a resource for families living with children with Cerebral Palsy, Acquired Brain Injury (ABI), Motor Neuron Disorder (MND), or Multiple Sclerosis(MS).
For some children and families, This Way In To Music can also encourage improvements in the child’s attention or focus, eye contact, communication and comfort in new social situations.
Philanthropist opportunity and sponsorships available
If you want to fund this project — or a similar music project for children and families living with an ability difference (disability) or neurological difference (NDD such as autism, aspergers or acquired brain injuries or cerebral palsy or MND or MS) contact us confidentially.
Alex Smith (Musician)
Founder & CEO
Lead Singer of the Australian band Moving Pictures, Musician Alex Smith has raised a child On the Spectrum of Autism (Asperger’s or ASD). He personally understands the challenges that families face when raising a child with a diffability as well as the struggles of siblings who often feel left out.
Search for Alex Smith’s latest single ALBUM called The Thread.
He lives in Italy with his wife, Sophie, a sculptor.
Prior to moving to Italy and founding This Way In To Music several years ago, Alex spent 20 years in Special Needs Education teaching others how to use the power of MUSIC, SOUND, OBSERVATION and CONNECTION to reduce social isolation for children and families adapting to conditions such as Autism, Aspergers, Cerebral Palsy, Muscular Dystrophy, Downs Syndrome, Acquired Brain Injury, Multiple Sclerosis and other neurodevelopmental conditions impacting socialisation, communication and temperament regulation. He is an avid self-researcher into all aspects of different abilities (formerly called disability) and is a fan of Author and Autism Expert Tony Attwood, in Queensland, and numerous other writers. EMAIL us and opt in to our e-newsletter for a list of books recommended for parents of children on the spectrum and/or with other ability differences / neuro-diversity.
Connie May MHST
Producer/Director, Program Lead, Health Researcher/Writer & Community Engagement/Digital Marketing
Connie May, MHST, has a Masters degree in Health from the University of Queensland and a Business Administration/Marketing Degree from the University of Texas. She moved to Australia in 2001, and has worked in various private health, public health and education/training sectors. She is an author, Writer/Director, Videographer and Digital Marketing expert with distribution expertise and education writing skills. Her background includes public health and communications research, new program development, product launches, and education and health care research and content writing. She has numerous insights into how special needs family situations impact the emotional, mental, practical and social outcomes of families living with neuro-diversity. In addition to filming the series and working with families with special needs, Connie May is also co-authoring a book with Alex Smith about the value of MUSIC INTERACTION in the lives of individuals who struggle with the day-to-day and social exclusion. Her background includes digital marketing, content writing and over 25 years experience in marketing, business development and community engagement.
Operations – Education Programs – Post-Production & Special Needs Education Advisor
Ric Davidson has over 25 years in Education and has worked in Special Needs program development.
He is an expert in film production/budgeting, special needs program solutions and program development.
Supported by Ron Brown, Producer/Director, who has produced over 1500 films through his career.
- Parents and teachers we trialed our pilot project with found immense value in our music interaction activity sessions guidance; as examples to inspire curiosity and parenting-innovation to increase child-family and child-others engagement.
- They use our examples to increase social interaction through music-themed games to help children where a disability or condition such as Autism or Asperger’s or Cerebral Palsy impacts their ability to verbalise, communicate, socialise or be comfortable in new situations.
Learning to find COMFORT in new situations MAY also help parents and children reduce the “states of overwhelm” that so often lead to meltdowns.
Contact Connie May on +61. 421. 99.55.22 if you’d to support our passion and dream of being able to make an educational ‘music interaction activity’ video or television program available to all parents of children with special needs.