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As part of the Wavelength project, many of my sessions - both one-to-one and group sessions -have been based around using Music Production/Technology to aid the songwriting process. I’m going to share some tips on how I’ve done that. In this blog post, I’ll specifically be talking about ‘Presets.’ You will need to refer to the attached pdf as well to see the screenshots related to this blog.

Level Up! is a Youth Music funded programme of delivery at Two Rivers High School in Tamworth, and delivered by Make Some Noise. Emma Brookes is shadowing musician Chris Watt to widen her skills in working with young people with SEND. She will be keeping a blog on her progres.


Our In Harmony programme is a early targeted social development programme delivered through music. To improve the health, education and aspirations of disadvantaged children, young people and families through immersive ensemble music making, rooted long term in the community and in our partner schools.

The dos and don’ts
How young people can take ownership of the process

One of the conclusions I came to in my last Youth Music post, which was about making people feel comfortable in their first group music-making session (, was that we are trying to encourage people who attend to continue coming in the longer term so that they can access the full benefits of the project. To do this, we can make sessions fun and we can motivate participants by helping them see their own potential and progression within a session, but we can also consider how we might limit the challenges for them in getting to the venue due to transport, or even motivational and confidence issues.

Creative block can be caused by numerous reasons:

It might be that the young person has never attempted to do a creative piece of work before and struggles to define what it might mean.
It might be that the young person has tried in the past but has experienced a harsh critic or failure in their own opinion.
It could be just a lack of confidence and trust in their own capabilities.

Multicultural Music Making is a high-quality music in education programme for young people in Birmingham. Each week small groups of Key Stage 2 young musicians explore a range of music tradtions, composing original work, and engaging critically with international sounds. The choice of music is based on the heritage of the young people, as we seek to connect to their parents' and grandparents' cultural and musical traditions and understand the global journey of people, stories and music. As the musicians grow in skill and confidence they perform to one another's schools, families and neighbours, sharing what they've learned and created in their communities.

Community Melodies began in October 2015, with a selection of Year 9 and 10 students from three secondary schools in Birmingham. The project aims to educate and empower the students through learning about community music, as well as provide them with opportunities to build skills that can be directly applied in their future working lives. All of the schools have had regular training sessions from passionate community musicians, each with experience in working in healthcare settings, who work with the young people to develop their leadership, presentation and team-working skills. The project concludes with each school visiting the Paediatric Unit of Heartlands Hospital, where the students will lead their own interactive music workshop for the patients.

This project was set up by the Arts Department of the Heart of England NHS Foundation Trust, with the financial assistance of Youth Music and the Eric W Vincent Trust. Community Melodies takes place in the East of Birmingham, a large and impoverished area. The schools involved are Waverley School, Bordesley Green Girls’ School and Hodge Hill College. Community Melodies sessions are run by three groups of facilitators from M&Em Music, Bridge Arts, and MF Community Music CIC.

Find out more at:, or follow the Arts Department of HEFT on Twitter (@heftartsdept)

Our Multicultural Music Making sessions include in-depth introductions to a range of music traditions, enabling a critical engagement with international sounds. As the choice of music we learn and gain inspiration from is based on the heritages and cultural interests of the young people in the project, we value all the opportunities we have to connect with our participants’ families.

Musical Wonderland is a project for early years children under 5 and their families in Chelmsley Wood (Solihull) and surrounding areas. It offers friendly and fun music sessions based on exciting children’s books (based on the Book Trust's recommended books for under 5s). 

Being confident stems from a feeling that you know, understand, or are capable of applying yourself to a certain task. Removing some of the barriers in a young person’s mind when it comes to them understanding ‘music’ could help them to have more confidence. For example, expectations may be that theory is difficult, that learning an instrument is time-consuming, hard work and painstaking, or that they can’t achieve the sounds that they like and relate to with music taught in educational settings. If this was the case, by removing some of the barriers, the young person could engage more fully.

Meet Doug. He's our Apprentice currently working towards his NVQ Level 2 Business Administration