Friday, 18 June 2021

I learned to play Jingle Bells

JACKIE HOBBS is one of the volunteers who are helping to test the Emoji-Go system.

The 60-year-old from Henley has been friends with Kevin and Sally Thomson since 2011 and has Asperger’s syndrome.

She had never played an instrument until last year when she began learning the piano with Mr Thomson’s system.

They met twice a week for several months and in December she played Jingle Bells for guests at the Thomsons’ Christmas party.

She also accompanied them to the January trade show to illustrate the benefits of Emoji-Go.

Mrs Hobbs said: “I’ve really enjoyed it because Kevin is very easy to work with and we have a laugh as we’re learning. I was so proud to have learned Jingle Bells off by heart.

“Emoji-Go is a great system because black and white keys are boring and look scary and difficult, which puts you off learning. This is more colourful and I love the emojis.”

Mr Thomson said: “If anything wasn’t working for Jackie we assumed something needed to change with the system, which is different from the usual scenario where pupils are blamed if they don’t ‘get’ something.

“We took the view that it was my responsibility to teach her properly. Everyone has a different learning style and there are different aspects of this system that will appeal to different people.”

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