by Author nicbriggs

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Getting Youth Bands to Experiment with Music by Sam George (Youth Band Leader on Base Studios’ The Junction project)

One of the difficulties that is often faced when working with young bands, is getting them to experiment with music.

As young people can often become obsessed with a particular style or genre (it’s not a phase, mom!), it can be tricky to get them to deviate from this. However, influences within a band can be diverse. Although the band may have unified influences, there will be some music that one member of the band likes that others may not have heard of. Encouraging members to talk about their influences outside of the common interests of the band can be a great way of getting young people to listen to new music.

Another great way of getting young people to listen to a wider variety of music is by getting them to find out who inspired their favourite artists.

I often hear things such as, “I only listen to Nirvana.”

If a young person is particularly stuck on a certain band or artist, encourage them to look into their inspirations. For example, Kurt Cobain was particularly influenced by bands such as The Pixies and The Sex Pistols, but also musicians such as Lead Belly and The Beatles. This can open up young musicians to a plethora of music from different eras that they may never have been introduced to otherwise. 

Once a person has been introduced to a new style of music, they may be more enthusiastic about experimenting with different techniques, time signatures, structures etc making for more versatile and well-rounded musicians and songwriters.