Our ArtsTrain programme actively involves children and young people at all stages of their musical journey. “We give them space to write, draw from their experiences and what they want to express and communicate and we ask them to draw on all of those things and put it into song.” (Abimaro, Music Leader). Our Music Leaders construct vibrant creative environments and involve young people in every aspect of the creative process. “Learning to play an instrument has always been very controlled and tight, but at ArtsTrain we are free to do what we want, how we’d like to do it. I like the freedom to produce our own music in ways that we’ve never used before.” (Young Person, 15).
Our Music Leaders and guest artists often provide creative briefs or an artistic direction to inspire the young people. The following direction and content is always driven by our young people’s views and experiences and our Music Leaders simply guide their creative journey. As a project we have set ambitious creative briefs such as ‘The Gentrification of Our Cities’, ‘The Truth Behind Social Media’ and ‘Protest Songs’ to inspire and challenge our young people’s creativity. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ElnXjdhVcJE&list=PLJHAjjrZVvzPThLd4RZ6PhwgLruwUOxeU
Following one of our recent youth consultation sessions we have introduced ‘South East Sessions’ a series of open mic events that empower young people to curate, promote, host and programme their own events. Through selecting a ‘Young Producer’ to manage each event we are building opportunities for young people to take on leadership roles and start to build their own creative communities across Bromley, Bexley and Lewisham.
ArtsTrain is also invested in creating opportunities for some of our older project participants to develop new facilitation and leadership skills. We have built a track record of supporting our young project alumni to transitioned onto further study/ employment in the industry, and have returned to ArtsTrain as Assistant Music Leaders on the project.
Young people take on a range of leadership roles across the project dependent on the age, competence and confidence of the young people within each setting. Below are some practical examples of how we incorporate youth leadership within our sessions.
- ArtsTrain alumni are given ‘Assistant Music Leader’ and ‘Volunteer’ roles to work on our transition programmes for primary school students
- Young people are actively involved in setting up equipment for each session
- Music Leaders select young people as ‘Assistant Studio Technicians’ for our recording sessions across the project
- Young people represent ArtsTrain as ‘ambassadors’ / ‘champions’ at events such as ‘Rising Futures’
- Our Open Mic events are delivered by Young Producers. Alongside our staff they manage the marketing, comparing and programming
- Previous Young Leaders have also been involved in our Creative Industries Events as guest speakers
- Our older members from our ArtsTrain Academy have been peer mentors and chaperones for younger / less experienced groups during performances and visits
Taken from Mytime Active
Drake Music: Amplifying and promoting the voices of Disabled young musicians is a crucial aspect of improving provision.
Example: A music leader wants to ask a class of Disabled young musicians some questions as part of her on-going evaluation of the sessions. One of the participants uses a Voice Output Communication Aid (VOCA). After asking for advice, the music leader emails the questions to support staff in advance. This gives them time to elicit the young musician's answers and programme them into his VOCA, enabling him to independently answer each question when asked.