Now my son goes to a group session run by Laura nearly every week, he has grown in confidence over the years and participates fully within the group. When I pick him up at the end of the session it's so good to hear how he contributes to the group and how everyone else is enjoying the sessions whilst growing in confidence making music."
Sue Legg, Manager, Choices Choices Community Day Opportunities at Bournemouth Borough Council - "Laura is a talented, creative person. She works with people with learning disabilities in a sensitive way; which enables each person to gain the confidence to develop their own music-making skills. Laura also encourages story-telling by being an excellent role model in this skill.
Laura’s approach is professional and person centred; she is able to use Total Communication as well as creating a sensory environment where people can express themselves in a supportive atmosphere. Laura clearly respects everyone for their unique character and spirit and works with them as individuals to enable them to contribute to the overall achievements of the group.
Above all, Laura creates space for people to feel safe and to have fun, whilst developing their own originality and imagination."
Linda Hardy, Spirit N Motion Dance Group - "I run a dance group for adults with a learning disability every Thursday. I contacted Laura regarding a music session after a recommendation from Anna Shiels at the Poole Arts Development team. I knew of Laura’s work as our paths crossed during a few network meetings. Laura has delivered a number of music sessions to the Dance group. She brings in a large variety of weird and wonderful musical instruments. The session involves the group using a number of different instruments to create music and sounds. The group play music-related games and also enjoy singing.
Each session allows for spontaneity and individual expression and creativity, and is very much client led. The group love Laura’s visits, everyone takes part which is good for developing a sense of teamwork. Individuals can express themselves, build confidence, empower themselves through a form of communication that is acknowledged by everyone taking part.
Each session is full of fun, laughter and leaves everyone who takes part with an overall sense of joy and well being. Laura has an amazing ability to bring out the best in everyone; her skills and experience of creating music in its simplest form make it accessible to everyone.
Steve Ball, Jazz Explorium Music Services - "I have known Laura for 10 years, she is an inspiration. Her work as a music practitioner and group facilitator is unique, primarily, due to her understanding of people and the idiom of 'in the moment' creativity. I am very happy to endorse Laura Cousins."
Andy Fowler, RhythmZone - “Laura is personable, professional and always happy to help. She's one of those great people that gets kicks out of going the extra mile. Laura is highly sensitive to others' needs and has an infectious passion for all things creative!”
Marylyn Cropley, Director, The Arts Poole and Originator/Facilitator of Freeplay - “I have co-worked with Laura on various community projects where Freeplay was asked to bring a live art and music experience to the event. Laura offered creative, interactive music experiences involving other Freeplayers, families and the general public. Whilst working in the learning disability services in the past I have also referred clients to Laura Cousins Music. Laura is very experienced and effective, in engaging people at all levels to interact with the music, herself, and with each other. She does this in a gentle, safe, non-threatening way, whilst enabling everyone present to enjoy and benefit from the experience. Highly recommended."
Jacky Boots, Mother of son with profound and multiple learning difficultiesLaura has been working with my son Tom for nearly 4 years at his home in Poole. I have been present when Laura has been with Tom on several occasions and never fail to be amazed. Tom has very severe learning difficulties and associated physical limitations and Laura tries many varied ways to engage with him with instruments and songs. Laura is very perceptive and patient with Tom, looking for any signs of pleasure or engagement with her or the instruments. She has an intuitive way with the people she works with.
>I always leave feeling happy that Tom has had special opportunities to communicate through his time with Laura."
Liz Williams, Orchid Therapies - "Laura is amazing fun to work with and her passion for helping people learn and develop through music is enormous. Laura is very approachable, down to earth and very respectful."
Harold Ware, Father of son with profound and multiple learning difficulties - "Our son Raymond has been in care for nearly four years and has had music sessions with Laura for most of this time. Laura has known Raymond for longer than this as she used to visit him regularly when he was at a Day Centre.
My wife and I have seen Laura at work with Roy quite a few times and although Ray cannot converse to show his pleasure, he shows it by his laughter, his eyes and his body movements. My wife and I are sure that this activity with all of these instruments is good for hime, and we would thank Laura for all the time she spends with him."
Elisabetta Noto, Originator and Facilitator ofThe Radiant Voice - “I started Lifemusic training under the watchful eye of Laura last September. Laura is a mindful organiser, meticulous yet approachable, kind, respectful, thoughtful, always responsive to people's needs and ever inventing new ways to help. As a promoter and manager of Lifemusic she has not only made this wonderful course better known to the public, improving its profile; but has also made it more versatile and accessible through the creation of flexible days. Laura is a kind and skilful co-facilitator, putting people at ease and listening, then responding to their needs. She makes order out of chaos while remaining cheerful and optimistic at all times - her management and people skills are an example to us all! I would not hesitate to recommend Laura for organising and managing not only music and community events, but probably any enterprise.”
Joanne Huey, Master NLP Practitioner and EFT Practitioner - “I have worked with Laura in a couple of different capacities, from organising an event within Bournemouth Chamber to a Lifemusic workshop. Personally I don't think you will find a more passionate, knowledgeable, approachable and altogether fantastic person than Laura. She is an expert in her field, she is adaptable and works in a flexible manner. She works not only with integrity but is creative and most of all fun. She brings laughter into all she does which can often make difficult situations seem so much easier. I have no hesitation in recommending Laura, she knows her music, she knows people and most of all she does what she loves.”