Musical Keys

  • Musical Keys

Contact Details

Martineau Memorial Hall, 21 Colegate, Norwich, NR3 1BN

Musical Keys is a Norfolk charity which provides inclusive music and arts based projects for people living with disability and additional needs

The charity was established in 1990 by a small group of parents of children with complex disability and additional needs. At the time, there was little provision for families in their situation and so with the gut feeling that music and movement could make a difference to their child’s development and wellbeing, Musical Keys was formed.

And we haven’t looked back! From those early days, a comprehensive programme of music, movement and arts based activities has grown.

Our sessions are inclusive of all disability and our workshop leaders are trained to be able to adapt to the needs of the participants.  We reach people of all ages and our portfolio of work includes:

·         Regular music and movement groups for early years and families. A number of age appropriate sessions which focus on the early years, through to adults in their thirties with complex needs. Offering participants the opportunity to express themselves in a safe and non-judgemental environment, the sessions aid their development. Our sessions provide a vital support network for families and carers.


·         Hospitals and Hospice. In addition to our regular groups, our workshop leaders attend the children’s wards of the Norfolk & Norwich University Hospital and Queen Elizabeth Hospital in King’s Lynn. Providing a fun and inclusive environment which breaks up the monotony and stress of long and often complex medical care. We also attend the EACH at Quidenham where sessions are relaxed and utilise sensory provision.


·         Short Breaks programme for young people (aged 6 – 25).  Our ‘Discover Experience Arts’ project, or DXA for short, offers day sessions for young people with disability and complex additional needs. The sessions are tailored to the participants and include a range of art forms and ways of exploring music. Participants are supported to express themselves, learn new skills and build confidence. Most notably, the experienced workshop leaders are able to involve the participants in such a way that every individual is able to contribute on an equal level, regardless of their level of ability.


·         One to One sessions. A number of one-to-one sessions have been developed in response to need for children, young people and adults with complex needs to develop skills with a musical instrument.


·         Older people with dementia. Regular group sessions to support adults living with dementia take place in care homes in Norwich. 


·         Drug and Alcohol Support. Weekly two-hour sessions focusing on music making and production workshop for adults who are coping with drug and alcohol related issues. 


Musical Keys is administered by four part-time staff who ensure that the work we do is relevant to the needs of the participants and families who we support. Our freelance workshop leaders are trained and experienced in working with disability; delivering our work with the support of valued volunteers.

The difference our work makes to the participants and their families, cannot be understated, as recent feedback shows:

“The support I received from staff and parents was a life line, you often feel very alone and isolated, but they gave me a sense of worth and I felt I belonged” (parent)


“[Musical Keys] is a really important part of my son’s routine. He has been attending for years and I’m convinced it’s contributed significantly to aspects of his development” (parent)


As a small charity, we rely on the financial support of donations from Trusts and Foundations, Individuals and Corporates, in order to continue to make a difference to the lives of those with disability and complex needs.

Our decision to join Norfolk Chamber of Commerce was not a difficult one to make” says Alison Cooper, Fundraiser for Musical Keys – “we welcome the opportunity to network with the business community in Norfolk with the view to raising our profile as well as much needed funds to continue our work.  Existing as a charity is challenging in the financial climate we are faced with – in order to progress and develop, we have to be seen to be engaging with local businesses and forging meaningful professional relationships, if we are to get ahead and continue to make a difference. I’m not going to achieve that for the organisation by sitting behind my desk!”.


If you are interested in supporting our work you can contact Alison Cooper, Fundraiser.

Further information on our services can be found on our website:

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