In 2012 we embarked on a three year project with Children in Need to engage with young people across South Wales who had experienced disadvantage in their lives which was preventing them reaching their full potential.
We designed a project which aimed to increase the confidence, raise future aspirations and support the development of the basic skills of the young people, ensuring they had positive role models and influences in their lives. The project included both peer to peer mentoring and training for the young people within community music practice and year-long accredited music workshops which included DJing, Song writing, rap,VJing, Rock/pop.
The project delivered sessions in studio engineering and recording, providing the opportunity to learn how to operate the studio and support the young people in setting positive goals. The project was so successful we were awarded a further grant of an additional three years which sees 2017 as its final year.
Over the six years of the project we have engaged with over 800 young people and have had an average of 92% of positive outcomes which include a the achievement of accredited learning, a break in negative behavioral patterns and increase in confidence. There has also been excellent music produced over the years in a variety of music genres.
Please look through the years of the project to see an example of some of the excellent work written and produced by the young people, showcasing the amazing talent we have here in Wales.
For the first year the project concentrated on working with young people in Newport based around the Riverfront Centre. These young people were mentored whilst they wrote original music and recorded tracks. They had a masterclass from Akil from Jurassic 5 and performed the work created with him in Newport in collaboration with Urban Circle. Akil is a keen supporter of community music in Los Angeles and was very impressed with their work.
In year 4 of this project, we engaged with 126 young people across south Wales, working in partnership with some key organisations. We worked with Barnardo's and Youth services in four youth clubs across Blaenau Gwent. The project aimed to promote their independence and reduce the social isolation of young people who had a learning disability, physical disability and/or Autistic spectrum.
In year 5 we engaged with 84 young people, across south Wales. We worked once again in partnership with Barnardo's, delivering song writing workshops with a group who did a final performance in front of peers and family. We worked with them again over the summer as part of a 'summer school,' where by they wrote new music, then recorded it as well as performed once again.
This year of the project is currently ongoing. We are continuing our work with Barnardos, helping them to help us write a song for our 25th anniversary celebrations.