by Author Joy AThorn

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Southampton Youth Inclusion Music Network (SYIMN) Maple Ward - Case study

Southampton Youth Inclusion Music Network (SYIMN)

Southampton Youth Inclusion Music Network (SYIMN)

Case Study Maple Ward

SYIMN is a not for profit community project creatively engaging young people facing barriers in the South of England with life changing music and community making activities.

SYIMN’s Intended outcomes - are to take young people facing barriers beyond their perceived limitations, building brighter futures they could not have conceived of otherwise.

Our aim with SYIMN music making activities is to help transform young people’s lives by gaining musical accomplishments, life/workforce skills and building stronger communities.

Our impact goal is to show participants gain:

  • Technical musical skills
  • Personal and social achievements
  • Increasing communication skills
  • Increase sociability in the spirit of community building
  • Skills for the music workforce 
  • Transferable skills for the workforce in general
  • Skill share with partners and stakeholders  
  • Leadership development

We specifically focus on young people facing barriers and experiencing exclusion from education, employment and society due to their socio-economic background, discrimination, low self-esteem, and anxieties about their future.

Case Study - Maple Ward

One of our older students joining us at 19, Maple Ward having been with us from the beginning, has now left SYIMN due to having moved away to live in another location. However, she intends to pop by and see us whenever she is in the area and has given us fantastic feedback on her time spent with the SYIMN community and she will be missed by all, although has already popped back to see us once, since leaving us only a month ago!

Maple is an exemplary example of making progress at SYIMN, taking everything, she has been learning all the way from beating her anxieties, turning her performance nerves into excitement for/when performing. Maple has now entered nationwide competitions, such as Open Mic UK, making it through to the second round first time, taking every performance opportunity and now with her own social media channels is continuing to develop Maple Ward as an artist.

Maple Ward’s Progress:

Find Maple Ward on You Tube

Maple Ward’s Channel -

Participant feedback –

‘When I first joined SYIMN, I was very shy and unsure of my musical abilities. It wasn’t long before I made some really lovely friends who I really value, and who have supported me on my journey.

My guitar lessons in particular were very helpful as when I first started I SYIMN I hadn’t played at all. I now feel a lot more confident and my skills have improved a lot.

Through performance classes I’ve also gained a lot of knowledge of how to connect with an audience. I now find performing live to be a more enjoyable experience and can control my nerves a lot better.

The teachers at SYIMN have seen me grow from a quiet young person to someone who is a lot more confident in themselves as an artist.’ Maple Ward

SYIMN a journey of accomplishments

From the start, participants were encouraged to explore all the instrument learning opportunities and take part in instrument learning of their own choosing for the first two terms. This still happens with new participants only now we aim to encourage the longer-term participants to hone their skills with their chosen instruments.

To build community and communication skills we like participants to work in groups as much as possible however we listen carefully to everyone’s desired direction and encourage them to choose what accomplishments they really want to make.

Each step of the way, either in groups or solo steps are considered accomplishments

For example:

  • Learning and instrument
  • Learning to play a song with an instrument
  • Learning to sing a song
  • Writing songs - collaborations/solo
  • Writing lyrics - collaborations/solo
  • Performing songs - collaborations/solo
  • Performing songs in front of a live audience - collaborations/solo
  • Recording songs in the studio - collaborations/solo
  • Band Practice

Even though her most desired accomplishment was to perform, Maple Ward came to us shy and anxious about performing. She settled in really well, making many rewarding accomplishments on her SYIMN journey. We are very proud of her progress, and the success she has made, well done Maple for making the most of the opportunities available here at SYIMN.

We wish you well for the future Maple Ward, you have fantastic talent and thank you for sharing that with us all… hopefully see you soon!

Thank you, Youth Music Network and the SYIMN team at River Studios for making all this possible!