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A Digital World - The Temporary "New Norm" for Music Delivery


In the temporary 'new norm' of music delivery Music Leader Parissa Zarifi and Youth Music #BreakthroughMusicProject Co-ordinater James Lilly have been giving young people within Redcar & Cleveland some digital music activities to get involved in whilst staying safe at home during the COVID-19 Pandemic.  

Young people were able to voluntarily engage with inclusive musical activities from home through an online programme delivered via TunedIn!'s social media platforms. A series of 'challenges' aimed to develop participants' musical and creative skills, enhance their understanding of new musical styles whilst raising their wellbeing and self-confidence in the process. Each weekly challenge produced a musical or creative outcome that young people were encouraged to share with their peers through a private TunedIn2Music group, continuing their sense of musical community during lockdown.

The content of challenges incorporated use of their instruments and voice, music of other cultures, varied art forms and music technology to further young people's understanding of creative processes and their potential as musicians. 

Participants were able to engage with a listening exercise to analyse a piece of music of their choice, followed by a lyric writing challenge based on Bob Marley's 'Three Little Birds' exploring reggae music and song writing. 'Percussion @ Home' then encouraged young people to create a percussion piece using everyday items and record their beats using 'BandLab' or 'BandLab for Education' music technology. The 'BodyBeats' session enabled young people to explore their bodies as instruments through body percussion, supported by engaging examples of body percussion from other musical cultures of the world. 

Music leaders also had the opportunity to deliver an issue-based session on music and mental health to mark 'Mental Health Awareness Week' and the importance of seeking support. This highlighted the famous musicians in the industry who have suffered with mental health issues or have sadly committed suicide, as well as those who continue to raise awareness of mental health through their music. The session further reinforced the positive impact that the arts, music and music-making can have on our wellbeing, developing this through a challenge to create a piece of art inspired by music in which young people could freely express themselves.

As this is a new way of working, we are all still learning what works digitally with online music delivery as it differs in participation levels through face-to-face delievery however we hope that all content delivered will continue to be enriching for all young people and we encourage young people to keep being creative and share with us their creative pieces if they feel comfortable to do so.

In addition to the changes to the project, young people have also been engaging in 1-1 Instrument Tuition in collaboration with our major North East partners 'Musinc' where young people have been working with a variety of music leaders on Guitar and Vocals along with actively engaging in open mic performances via Zoom.