A year of CHAOS! - Music Sessions with the ‘Chat And Activities on Saturdays Youth Group’ - Part two

Part two of a reflection on a year of music making with young people in Rutland

As part of the Northamptonshire Music and Performing Arts Trust's (NMPAT) "Music Forge" project, we have been looking back on a year of music making. 

Potential impact of our work

Enhancing self-confidence

Shared enjoyment

Being cool (equality of opportunity)

Broadening of musical experience

Extending knowledge of musical genres and styles

Musical skills development

Individual progressions

Team-work

How we know the sessions have impact?

Feedback is a very important part of how we gain understanding of the impact of our work, it can be challenging to hear a critique but suggested improvements are vital to keeping the work purposeful as well as enjoyable.

Having said that ‘enjoyable’ is high on the agenda and I have been moved to hear feedback from family members who have time and again expressed their appreciation for how much their son/daughter enjoys the sessions.

We keep an eye on progressions in musical development (e.g. ability to keep time, dynamics, interpretation, specific skills such as beat boxing, drumming, understanding of music terminology such as ‘tempo’). These are noted in regular reflections and can be utilised to help progress any particular musical interests/ambitions individuals or the group as a whole may have.

Development of confidence, enjoyment and trust is evidenced through observations and discussions with young people, feedback from staff and family members.

The use of regular reflections really helps to identify areas that are working or need improvement. We also use them to reflect on and to discuss individual or team training/development needs with the programme manager.                                       

Comments/Feedback

Young People:

“I enjoy every lesson and I find them fun”

“I liked everything and especially singing”

 “I enjoyed all the sessions and beat-boxing”

“I liked the name song”

“I enjoyed playing keyboard while Kate played her flute”

“Its good, I like playing the drums”

Parent: “We appreciate the music sessions, most of the opportunities that come through we look at and just dismiss straight away as they are not appropriate for our son. This is the only session we can bring him to that he really enjoys and where we let him get on with joining in.”

Parent: “Its great for the young people to have the opportunity to do ‘cool’ things. They don’t always get the chance to do this sort of stuff, cool stuff that other young people their age are doing.”

Staff: “This has been a massive benefit to our group and an exciting opportunity for all of us. The young people have been able to explore lots of types of music and really enjoy the group. All the young people participate, which doesn’t always happen in some of the other activities. It has helped them to develop social skills, through meeting new people and working together, and we have seen an improvement in their interaction with others. They have come out of themselves, especially now they have really got to know the core team and have developed a lot more confidence to have a go at things.”

Staff: “The group anticipate the sessions and look forward to it, some of them don’t attend CHAOS regularly but always turn up for the music sessions. We have seen individual improvements such as being able to cope with a noisy environment better and all of them have become more confident and come out of their shells”

Next Steps

We are hoping to support the young people to work with a team of artists over the coming months and develop the band in addition to exploring individual musical interests of the group.

Being a band

Writing songs

Singing

Working in small groups or on solo projects

Individual progressions

Bringing the band together

Celebrating, sharing and maybe performing

Another year ahead!

It has been an interesting and progressive year, I have thoroughly enjoyed working with the team and the young people, and particularly over the last few months as the sessions have settled into a really positive format. We have had some fantastic sessions, we have had some challenging sessions, we have responded to feedback and input from the young people and weaved our way around the needs and interests of the group. The team are on a positive path and we are all looking forward to another year of music making ‘CHAOS’ ahead. 

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