Building relationships with carers not only to help develop young people musically but in other areas too.
As mentioned in a previous post, it has been proved a great help to have good communication with carers not just to help promote sessions but to also help the overall development of a child by understanding a bit of background and finding out what the child is finding beneficial from their perspective.
From speaking to one carer about a specific child (under 10) and the fact that she found it hard to let others take lead, the carer informed me that the young person, before being put into care was responsible for all of her siblings as they were often left on their own for periods of time – from hearing this, of course it made sense as to why she would find it hard to let others take the lead within a group.
The carer had said that they had been working closely with the child’s school by encouraging sharing, both with material objects and taking turns. We agreed to really focus on this within our sessions with this child too to try and help support the carers and the school with this child’s development. The next time we saw this particular child and worked with these goals in mind we started to see big improvements for the child within the session and also the effects that this then had on the rest of the group – everybody seemed much happier. It was clear that the work the carers and the school were doing were working and it was good to support this work. It was great to feed this back to the carer, who seemed extremely happy with the results.
We always try (when we have permission) to send feedback and recordings etc to carers and we have started to build great relations and have started to receive great feedback including:
“The girls really enjoyed their music time, Thank you!”
“(young musician) always leaves uplifted and with confidence”
It really is great to feel the sense that we are working with people who really care for these vulnerable young people on not only musical skills, but also: leadership, confidence, well being, expression and working with others. If we can make even the tiniest positive changes in these young peoples lives, it is a job well done, when they unfortunately so often have the odds stacked against them.
It had also become obvious that the young people now know who to expect at sessions with regards to music leaders and trainees. I think the fact that we have consistency and also mixed gender of music leaders and trainees is really important. These children in care can get moved from pillar to post form schools, where they live and who with etc, just a little bit of consistency of people who care may well mean the world to them (though they may not always show it!).