Jamie the Performer

Developing his musical talent is helping Jamie to form a peer group and develop self-esteem. He is already known at school for being “the boy who is good at music” rather than the one with problems. It is therefore a passport to ongoing mainstream education.

He enjoys it too. Whether it is piano, double bass or organ, Jamie loves to play. Here are two of his recent pieces:

Jamie the Composer

Jamie does not only play, he also composes! By combining his passion for music with his interest in computers, he has become proficient at creating interesting pieces using anything from Garage Band to Notion on the iPad and the professional musician’s notation tool, Sibelius.

Could this be a future vocation? Listen to his compositions on SoundCloud and the example videos below and judge for yourself.

A Talented Musician


Here are Jamie’s music exam results as of April 2017:

Spring 2010       Grade 2 Theory of Music - MERIT

Autumn 2010    Grade 2 Jazz Piano - MERIT

                            Grade 4 Theory of Music - MERIT

Spring 2011       Grade 3 Jazz Piano - MERIT

Summer 2011    Grade 3 Double Bass - MERIT

                            Grade 4 Theory of Music - MERIT

Autumn 2011    Grade 3 Organ - DISTINCTION

                            Grade 5 Jazz Piano - DISTINCTION

Spring 2012       Grade 4 Double Bass - DISTINCTION

Summer 2012    Grade 6 Jazz Piano - MERIT

Winter 2012       Grade 4 Organ - MERIT

Summer 2013    Grade 5 Organ - Merit

                            Grade 5 Double Bass - DISTINCTION

                            Grade 7 Piano - DISTINCTION

Summer 2014    Grade 6 Organ - DISTINCTION

                            Grade 6 Double Bass - DISTINCTION

                            Grade 8 Piano - DISTINCTION

Spring 2017       Grade 8 Organ - DISTINCTION

Click here to help Jamie continue his musical education.

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31 October 2011

Whitstable slideshow

5 October 2013

Jamie’s Music Chronology

We first discovered that Jamie had a musical gift during his ABA programme. One of his tutors, a talented music graduate from Cambridge, had brought him a toy piano to use as a “reinforcer”. When she played on the notes, Jamie said “telephone”. After some puzzlement, the telephone rang and things became clear - Jamie was trying to say that the note being played on the piano was the same as that of the telephone ringer. Thus we discovered that Jamie had the gift of “Perfect Pitch”.

Perfect Pitch is the ability to distinguish a musical note when it is heard, a gift present in about 0.01% of the general population. In the ASD population the figure is 5% (3). Although this is a much higher proportion, it is still a small percentage overall, and the vast majority of that 5% can never make anything of their talent because their disabilities in learning, communication, imitation, concentration, balance etc. are just too severe to achieve any kind of proficiency.

Jamie’s mum set about building on Jamie’s talent with characteristic determination. After some lessons with conventional piano teachers, she settled on the Suzuki Method, suited to Jamie at the start due to its emphasis on auditory learning. Suzuki violin followed, but this proved too challenging with Jamie’s balance difficulties and so he switched to double bass as his string instrument. A couple of years later he started on the organ, learning from another Cambridge graduate Daniel Trocmé Latter on a century-old organ at Trumpington Church. Today he learns with Julian Haggett at St Peter Mancroft Church which may not be in Cambridge but is one of the most prestigious for music in East Anglia.

As Jamie’s piano improved, he also switched from the classical emphasis of Suzuki to jazz and blues. Under the tutelage of Prof. Adam Ockelford, one of the world’s foremost experts on ASD and music, Jamie blossomed. He went on to Junior Trinity in Greenwich where he still studies piano, double bass and composition. The trip from Cambridge every Saturday may seem onerous, but we draw strength and joy from the fact that Jamie is enjoying music more than ever, and has achieved a great deal in terms of formal qualifications also.

Jamie’s musical achievements can best be seen in this video album. These performances are not just party tricks, but the result of hard work and dedication by his teachers, his mum and by Jamie himself. Enjoy the videos, and check the section at the end for his exam qualifications.

Toccata in F by Buxtehude

St. Peter Mancroft, Norwich, April 2017

Barcarolle and Nocturnes by Fauré

Thetford, Norfolk, 22 April 2017