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The Music Man project



David Stanley is a musical director, teacher, composer, pianist, percussionist, theatre organist and silent film accompanist. He studied at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama, King’s College London, the Royal Academy of Music and the Institute of Education. He holds a Post-Graduate Certificate in Education, a Master’s Degree in Musical Analysis and the National Professional Qualification for Secondary School Headship (NPQH).

David founded the Southend Mencap Music School in 2001 and in 2012 launched the UK’s first full-time music education service specifically for children and adults with learning disabilities. His ground-breaking ‘Music Man Project’ provides education, enjoyment and access to inspirational performance opportunities for everyone. David campaigns for the equal rights of people with a learning disability to perform at the most prestigious and aspirational venues. He trains his students to become valued musicians and he composes original music for them to perform. In 2015 David made his West End debut as a composer, producer and performer in Music is Magic at the London Palladium. The concert featured 200 of his adult and special school students supported by professional musicians, choirs, the original Tiller Girls and stars of Britain’s Got Talent. It also included the world premiere of David’s musical From the Asylum to the Palladium which told the story of “mental” hospitals where people with learning disabilities were treated as patients alongside single mothers, the mentally ill, homosexuals and poorly behaved children. David composed the charity single Music is Magic which became a number 1 best seller on Amazon’s Broadway song chart. His E-book Music is Magic: The Story of the Music Man Project topped the Amazon Kindle Special Education chart

Click here for the Music man's website

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