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Part one of a reflection of the year making music with young people in Rutland

This is story of one of our most successful SEND initiatives to date and how through careful reflection between the team and with parents/carers we have found a winning formula.

 A short film showing the wonderful Symphonize project, a partnership project between Soft Touch Arts and The Philharmonia. Look out of the next one in January 2018!

NYMAZ works through a range of delivery partners to deliver musically-inclusive activities with children in challenging circumstances across rural North Yorkshire. Our music leader workforce can often be working on different projects, on behalf of different partner organisations, with participant groups with very different characteristics and needs in disparate parts of this huge county. So how do we aim to reduce workforce isolation and create a shared understanding amongst music leaders of what constitutes high quality musically-inclusive practice?

SoCo Music Project is excited to be creating a new post to support the development of Urban Music in Southampton...

  • by WKMT

    Wed 22 Feb 2017

Why should I participate at WKMT London Music Festival 11.03?

Here are some reflections on our varied experiences of the impact of Arts Award in different settings - particularly with regards to engaging young professionals

'Ready for music' - music therapy for vulnerable children was a Youth Music funded project which ran at Broadwaters Children Centre, The Ladder Children Centre (before closure) and South Haringey nursery. The project ran from January 2016 - January 2017 and was led by music therapist, Claire Hope ( The majority of similar early years music therapy work occurring in the UK is funded by both the children's centres and The Primary Care Trust. In Haringey, however, there is limited NHS funding towards therapeutic intervention in early years and a high level of deprivation.
Weekly group and individual music therapy sessions were offered to vulnerable families, children with complex emotional, social and developmental needs and parents and infants on the 2 -year programme (a government childcare initiative offered to parents on low-income). It was agreed that the project would be flexible, allowing Claire to respond to the needs of the service users. Workshops, presentations and meetings with parents were also an important aspect of the project. 
Group sessions involved familiar songs/nursery rhymes, turn-taking, leading, conducting, musical arrangements (playing an instrument in a particular place in the music), improvising/free play, movement with music, imaginary play, stories with sounds, songs and puppets. These were closely monitored by recordings, written summaries, supervision and questionnaires. Staff commented ,and the music therapist observed, children's increase in confidence, listening, awareness of the musical interaction and an increase in using more words in songs and play, particularly for children with English as a second language.
One little boy, who was selective mute, tentatively began to use his voice to express himself in individual music therapy sessions. Through creative musical play (and the use of kazoos!), his confidence in using his voice to communicate developed and he began to talk in nursery. Due to the flexibility of the project, he was then able to join a music therapy group with his peers, further consolidating on his confidence and achievements.
Music therapy is vital in these contexts, where young children are seeking and needing early play experiences. There continues to be growing need and demand for music therapy and Broadwaters Children Centre is thrilled to receive successful funding for a further 2-year music project beginning imminently, entitled: HOPE music therapy. Music therapy for vulnerable children.'

If you are not taking impact capture seriously for the projects you are running then I believe you to be looking down the barrel of a funding gun. It amazes me how many organisations don't collect the simplest of data like attendance or any form of 'story' from their participants. Money is scarce and getting scarcer. Commissioner's and grant givers require evidence that what we do is effective. 

I am fascinated by Play and music education and that is handy because my Youth Music funded work is dependent on Musical Play. I also struggle with accounting for what I do because facilitating musical play is not an "exact science".
Last year I attended Gloucestershire University’s Playwork study day “Creative Accounting: Playful Rhythms, relationships and response-abilities”. It was led by Lecturers Wendy Russell and Stuart Lester and post graduate Playwork students as part of a series of seminar days for Playworkers, Urban Planners and assorted University students. Dr. Susan Young, creator of the MA Ed(Early Years Music) at CREC in Birmingham, used to tell us to read outside of our discipline and Playwork, which places itself as complementary to a conventional educational offer whilst not exactly “outside” was, for me at least, conveniently “next door” both conceptually and geographically.
“The most important reason for going from one place to another is to see what’s in between, and they took great pleasure in doing just that.”
Norton Juster, The Phantom Tollbooth

Jack Kingslake, music leader and trainer with AudioActive, discusses the highs and lows of delivering training to young aspiring music leaders in Brighton.

Jack Kingslake, music leader and trainer with AudioActive, discusses the highs and lows of delivering training to young aspiring music leaders in Brighton.