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Inclusive stage school is helping to transform lives

Music 4 U welcomes everyone, including youths with physical and learning disabilities.

An Aberdeen music and theatre group is helping to transform the lives of youngsters with varying backgrounds by putting them centre stage.

Music 4 U provides artistic opportunities for all young people, including those with physical and learning disabilities.

Some of the young performers include tuneful teenagers Lauren Yule, 14, and Jay Moir, 18, who both say their involvement with the inclusive stage school has dramatically changed their lives for the better.

Jay, who was born three months prematurely with cerebral palsy, is unable to walk but has said attending the classes helped him become the performer he wants to be.

Inclusive: Music 4 U is a welcoming group for all youngsters.
Inclusive: Music 4 U is a welcoming group for all youngsters. STV
'But when you come here, your disability doesn't matter and that means so much to me'
Jay Moir on Music 4 U

He told STV News: "I've been coming to Music 4 U for 11 years and it's made me who I am today.

'I love it here because it's inclusive, welcoming and I feel equal and the same as everyone else.

"That's important to me because there's nothing worse than feeling different or the guy in the wheelchair - the odd one out.

"But when you come here, your disability doesn't matter and that means so much to me. When I'm here I forget about my worries and stresses. I'm part of a musical family.

"I love entertaining people and putting a smile on their faces and if I can make them laugh, then job done."

The charity works with young children through to adults on a variety of projects.

Some performers have varying learning difficulties and disabilities, but everyone gets an equal opportunity by working together.

'I can't imagine what my life would be like without Music 4 U'
Lauren Yule

When Lauren first arrived with the group nine years ago she was very shy and unable to interact socially.

Now, proud gran Margaret Smith says Lauren's solo performances bring a tear to her eye.

She said: "If you had seen her just a few years ago, she would be standing behind everyone else and cowering in the background instead of pushing herself forward and now she can stand in front and sing solo and it's just amazing to see her.

"Her confidence has got beyond my expectations and I'm very proud of her."

Lauren, who has dwarfism, Turner syndrome and bone displacement, added: "All the time you're worrying about not fitting in and how you're different from everyone else, but here you can relax and be yourself.

"Here, loads of people have disabilities and it really doesn't matter.

"I really enjoy it, singing has become one of my passions. I can't imagine what my life would be like without Music 4 U. It would be very sad and boring."

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