How can Musical Inclusion raise aspirations and make young people aware of routes into the music industry? Young people with a passion for music can feel they have little hope of success if they don’t have access to facilities that can help them develop the skills needed to progress. Some young musicians can feel trapped if they reach a certain point, technically or vocationally, where they need advice and guidance from professionals and without it, they can end up giving up on their aspirations.
‘Musical Inclusion – Making it Work’
A series of films sharing practice, reflections and experience of Musical Inclusion from Teesside.
Making it work…using the facilities of a My Place centre to raise aspirations and awareness of routes into the music industry.
Tuned In!, the ‘My Place’ centre in Redcar, wanted to run a programme that would give young people access to its up to the minute recording and performance facilities, and which would reach young people with a passion for music who, because of their circumstances, wouldn’t usually have access to such opportunities.
The weekly sessions ran in partnership with musinc and local youth group ‘All In Youth’ engaging over 30 young people aged 11-19. They embraced many aspects of music, with producer Gabriel Mulangu providing the core sessions and other musicians contributing vocal coaching and other support to meet the needs and aspirations of the young people involved. Sessions included songwriting, instrumental work, recording and producing with young people supporting each other –instrumentalists providing backing for singers, young producers learning how to make the most of others’ talents.
Developing confidence and performance skills were also important. A showcase performance was supported by local professional acts who drew in a large crowd, giving young people a realistic experience of professional performance.
What we learned:
Young people want to challenge themselves, and welcome the chance to develop their musical skills. Some of the young people had done as much as they could by themselves. The combination of access to high quality facilities, professional advice and the support of other young musicians enabled them to finish writing songs, complete production and bring their piece to life though performance.
Next steps are important. Young people can learn and develop quickly. Tuned In! is now involved with the Big Music project. Some of the young people featured in the film have moved on from the Friday night sessions to industry focused opportunities through Big Music. At the same time, Tuned In have recruited youth work staff with music skills who can provide first access opportunities with the option of moving on into the rest of their music offer.
Bringing individuals together encourages collaboration and personal growth. Many of these young people did not know each other. The environment created at Tuned In! gave them the confidence to collaborate on performances and seize the opportunities offered .
Established professional performers can act as role models, and more – Becoming confident enough to perform in any context is a huge achievement. And if young people want to really develop their performance skills they need the experience of performing in front of a ‘proper’ audience. Local professionals Jamie Graham and Bre Musiq wanted to support these young people’s development and by performing as part of the showcase event they made it into a real ‘gig’, with a sellout audience.
Flexibility, flexibility, flexibility…We appreciated that the young people weren’t all going to be focused on developing the same musical skills and would be interested in different roles within the music industry. The structure allowed individuals to focus on their particular interests, whilst giving them an overall view of skills and opportunities in the music industry as a whole.
Watch 'Making it work'…in a diverse community here
Watch 'Making it work'…with young offenders here
Watch 'Making it work'…in an area of rural isolation here
Watch 'Making it work'…in a pupil referral unit here
Watch our compilation film, which includes elements of 10 projects commissioned by musinc here