The Youth Music Funding for The Turning Tides ' Jam Buddies' Project began in September. Last week we had the first Jam Buddies session .... so what have we been doing for the last five months?
I'm a keeper of diairies and notebooks . I like to reflect , to track journey's , to be able to tell stories but actually I'm inclined to share the stories that are about individual access and group facilitation . This time i've decided I want to make sure that this first phase isn't lost . The planning phase of any project takes time and thoughtful Project Management: The Planning phase of a project that seeks to include people who are often excluded takes enormous amounts of time and project management. I firmly believe that the route to equal access is through the cretion of an enabling environment - and that's about so much more than just what happens during the facilitated sessions. The first Jam Buddies session ran ( a month behind schedule) with nine young people in the room , two more expected this week ( they were off school, unwell) and a further six showing an interest in coming to an additional monthly session we've decided to set up : I'm really pleased with that!
The Barriers included all the usual things: finding the hard to reach; the assumptions of caring , protective adults about what young peeople would be able to do ; transport ; cost ; attitudes about what a music lesson should look like......
It did take time but it didn't feel like any of the barriers were very big and certianly not insurmountable . I'd put that down to a some of these things:
- The project had a definite planning phase - we'd invested in the time and resource it gets to get this bit right.
- We'd dedicated skilled , experienced support worker and music facilitator time to meeting parents , teachers and young people indiivudally and in groups.
- We'd run a previous , very successful project at the local Senior School and through that had very good links and incredibly active and positive support from the school's Leanring Support Team.
- We were flexible : we're clear about the Outcomes we're aiming to achieve through Jam Buddies .... there are a million ways of achieving them , so we give some info , then we listen , question, explore and then agree a way forward.
It all sounds quite obvious but i do think that doing the ground work is absolutely critical and that if that's done well it conveys a sense of who you are and what you're aiming to do , right from the start - and that's priceless.