FAB! is an annual action-packed day for Looked After Children in Lincolnshire ran by soundLINCS, as part of our FundC Fusion programme.
For the past five years it has combined a presentation ceremony for children and young people from all over Lincolnshire with a huge diversity of music and arts activities based around a chosen theme. There was also a long service Award Ceremony for Foster Carers as well as a Foster Carers Conference giving them the opportunity to learn and liaise with other carers.
We first met Thea (name changed) at the FAB! Awards 2014. She came to watch the acts perform on the Unplugged Stage and showed us some of her favourite music on her iPod and told us all about how much she loved music and singing. She was hoping to take singing lessons if her foster parents could arrange it. She was quiet but thoughtful and it was immediately apparent that music meant a great deal to her.
Fast forward to 2016 and Thea had signed up to be a part of the Voices 4 Choices FAB! Steering group, she was now a seemingly confident teenager with plenty of opinions and the conviction to communicate them. She said that she had given up singing lessons but was continuing with performing arts at Lincoln College. When asked what it was that she loved so much about music she replied “the emotion”.
She wanted to be a part of every aspect of the next FAB! awards, she had great ideas for the FAB! activities and showed a real awareness of what other, younger children would like to do on the day. Along with the others in the group, Thea contributed her ideas and was willing to take on big roles on the day. She wanted to present awards, manage the unplugged stage and join a FAB! Music group that would perform their own original material at the FAB! Awards Ceremony.
Thea came to soundHOUSE for the first meeting of the FAB! Music group, others had been invited but Thea was the only attendee. She was not deterred by this and soon began creating the theme for the Awards Ceremony song. She worked with soundLINCS Music Facilitators to lyricise how important the FAB! awards are to her and other Looked After Children. Her lyrics spoke volumes. It was clear that receiving awards had built up her self-esteem, confidence and self-belief.
Throughout the sessions her confidence increased further, she tentatively sang her own lyrics to her own melody, nervous it would not be good enough. It was brilliant. Throughout the sessions she completed the lyrics and began practicing her song with instrumental accompaniment in rehearsal. She also practiced songs that she wanted to perform on the unplugged stage throughout the day.
On July 1st 2017 Thea took to the stage and gave several wonderful performances of her song. She also presided over the day with her sister, announcing the next award categories and inviting presenters to the stage.
Following on from her time with Voices 4 Choices Thea has enrolled at the Leeds College of Music to further her studies. Thea has said that her work with us on the FAB! awards has contributed to her confidence and self–esteem and helped direct her down the route of music.
You can listen to 'Welcome to the FAB! Show', Thea's song, at: https://soundcloud.com/soundlincs/welcome-to-the-fab-show