Active Fusion Summer Programme.

It was great to be asked to come back and support Active Fusion with their summer programme.

Active Fusion focus on activities to promote health and well-being for young people.

Our role was to engage with young people to take part in collaborative work which benefits their transition into secondary education, and to provide fun activities for younger children, while respecting appropriate milestones of the MMC.

As with all our sessions the impetus was on practical engagement, but the focus was on the value of communication. We did this by taking part in a session we call “speak to me” where the participants take part in a surreal conversation using audio which highlights simple, but sometimes overlooked elements of communication.

We then expand on these points by highlighting discipline and respect. We did this by jamming on themes around a tribe that live in the heart of the Amazon Rainforest. By highlighting dynamics and simply pointing out when the values of communication, discipline and respect were happening, while working collaboratively, offers different outcomes in the context of practical music making when compared to the headspace of a classroom or home environment.

Further benefits include elements of the more mainstream approach of the Model Music Curriculum such as Singing, listening and composition.

We packed a lot in to these short sessions, but it was rewarding to hear most of the young people speaking about the things they had retained upon visiting them for a second time.

A big message of thanks and admiration for the delivery staff at Active Fusion who are made up of young people in their late teens to early 20s. They showed incredible ability to engage and pitch their communication to young people from age 4 to 11 years and get them to show respect for not only the staff, but each other. It really is notable to see young adults who are motivated to support children in such a passionate and wholehearted way. They all made me welcome and were happy to join in with the practical work when asked.

Overall, for our part we engaged with around 400 young people and our research suggests every one of them will enjoy lifelong benefits through their engagement with industry professionals on this programme. Respect goes out to representatives of DMBC and the Department of Education for attending sessions and getting a genuine feel for the quality provision on offer.

Finally, thanks to the young people who engaged with 90 Minute Music. To see friendships being formed while gaining new skills is wonderfully rewarding. I hope to work with you again soon.

The 100 club!!!

This week represents a small milestone in our progress as a company. It is the first time we have delivered our intensive Music workshop to over 100 young people in the same week.

From 5 different venues we have delivered intensively, working with ages from 4 to 17, carefully pitching each individual session to the appropriate age. We worked with 20 different groups in total.

Big thanks to Active Fusion and Youth Hubs Staff along with our new volunteer Tom, and all the staff and pupils from; Kirk Sandall Infants School, Bentley High Street Primary, Moorends West Road Primary , Tom Hill Youth Hub and Bentley Myplace Youth Hub.

We will be at Tom Hill Youth Hub on Wednesday 28th from 12-2pm and Myplace Bentley on Friday 30th 12-2pm, book for FREE through us direct or through Youthhubs

Highfields Boxing Club

Great engagement, group working, problem solving, lyric writing and composition.

We have been working with young people with the support of the Barrier Buster Fund. This has been an incredible boost to our fightback from the Coronavirus pandemic. We used traditional instruments, samplers and synthesizers to compliment the vocals we recorded. 

The boxing community understand the value of respect and the young people gave us plenty while showing us a few moves that they had learnt. 90 Minute Music is about sharing experience and development, so it felt good to learn, as well as sharing our knowledge.

Thanks again to Liz for allowing us to use this gem of a venue to deliver, and big thanks to Well Doncaster and the Barrier Buster team for supporting the development of our young people.

Is Music a Natural Antidote?

Identity, Expression, Confidence, Self-Esteem, Conveying Emotions, Motivation, Empathy, Sociability, Release.

Which of these words is Music to you?

The natural life gift of mothers milk stimulates Oxytocin in the brain. Listening to and participating in music gives a similar pleasure response.

The potential in Music can often be overlooked, or ignored, even by professionals I have spoken to that work with music every day. It is through our research into the neural networks in the brain and findings on the benefits of breastfeeding that show us that both can provide a feel good response which aids development.

At 90 Minute Music we don’t give you something you don’t already have, we just remind you where it is.

What is the most important advice for an aspiring DJ (part 2 of the DJ Methodz Podcast)

I asked him what element of DJing would be the most important lesson for any newcomer, and he goes on to speak about his time at a residency in Poland.

Santino shares the advice, don’t give up, be persistent, which echoes what was said by top Saxophone player Mark Ellis in the Podcast. We also talk about giving back to others from disadvantaged areas and the importance of the social aspects around music. Great to catch up again.

Check out:

How do you become a Pro DJ? The DJ Methodz Podcast Part 1

An absolute pleasure to talk with Hull based DJ and DJ Instructor Santino Roberts about DJing in the UK and Europe. He shares our passion in offering pathways to development using music as the catalyst. We talk about music and how the relationships around it can provide a support system for life.

How do you become a DJ?

We talk about the challenges of being a DJ, the value of creativity and we both share stories of saving lives and supporting mental health.

Look out for part 2 of this interview where we ask: What are the most important lessons you can pass on to an aspiring DJ?

Passing on his experience and bringing positive changes to the lives of young people

We were introduced through the Isla Foundation who have been supporting us through funding and also through our shared passion for positive and sustainable development.

For more details on DJ Methodz and how to access focused DJ tuition in Hull and the surrounding areas check out:

Active Fusion Campsmount Academy

Back at Campsmount Academy as we play our part in the many activities offered by the Active Fusion Easter programme.

We had 100% engagement with Beat-making, Jamming, learning about skin drums and track building as part of the music side today. Our philosophy in what we do comes from building social connections and the compounding resilience that comes from working with music. It is a privilege to be able to do this in a fun and engaging way. This is a quote from one of the young people today when asked about their experience.

“90 Minute Music is SICK!!!”  

  “Simon is funny and cool” S.W. age 12

We use professional Music Technology equipment, but I was keen to show the young people that there are opportunities for Music-making for free through software Apps, and some had already explored some of these. We like to offer a platform for further learning and engagement such as pathways to further training.  We spoke about the possibilities of a presentation page on one of the internet music platforms to showcase the beats and riffs that we have played and recorded.

It was great to have the support of Keegan, who got involved with our Electro-acoustic Jam and good to meet experienced leader Sarah, who spoke with about her experience and how passionate she was about giving young people these opportunities. It was a similar story to other professionals I have spoken to who work in the broad field of the Arts. The narrative of hard work and determination always seems to be there.

Wonderful to be invited to join Active fusion on this successful project and thanks to Philippa Bonham of EXPECT Youth for making connections, and also to Lindsy James for sharing evidence of our good practice.

Bentley Myplace

Our second visit in as many weeks to the place where 90 Minute Music began 7 years ago. It began as a simple idea to engage with young people and share my knowledge from working practically with music.

Today’s session was with two small groups, some of the young people had additional needs, but for us accessibility and the opportunity for inclusion are some of our guiding principles. We managed to achieve a couple of compositions in the small frame of time that we had, along with a quick blast of a jam session.

Great attitude from the groups. Some of the participants from the previous week grew in confidence and really took control of the digital hardware. We created a pumping dance tune with sharing of ideas and live recording of vocals.

Thanks to all the young people and experienced youth leaders Ian and Carol for their support.

Click the video link to find out what is happening in the pics :

Active Fusion Campsmount Academy

A joy to be asked to join Active Fusion on their Easter Camp to support the transition of young people into secondary education.

Campsmount Academy is a wonderful place to learn, set in the countryside and has been reborn and rebuilt after the tragedy of fire struck a few years ago. As I was driving up, there was a pheasant crossing the road in front of me that had made its way from the adjacent farmland. It feels spacious and the colossal sports hall was large enough to accommodate safely distanced activities.

There were around 40 young people taking part and were split into 4 groups to ensure they all had a chance to experience not only 90 Minute Music, but also Karate, and sports-based activities delivered by trained professionals.

We only had 45 Minutes with each group, so I decided to make it count. As we got through so much, so quickly, I am just going to list the elements that we shared.

Singing – Call and answer   Song Form and Discussed instrumentation.  Discussed feelings around music.  Discussed SLD’s and where music fits in.   Explored learning exercises.   Tried out new technology and Acoustic instruments. Played along as a group.  Understood the idea of chopping up a beat.  Recorded and played back audio and evaluated the sound and levels. Experimented with sound design. Beat Making. Electro acoustic jam.

Aside of the practical session with 100% engagement, the real value was bringing together young people who were from different schools and were only introduced as a result of this opportunity. After the Social exclusion of the last year due to Covid-19 this was a vital resource for the young people involved.

Thanks to Luke for accommodating us and for joining in when I invited him to do so. He helped us open a discussion around Dyslexia and other Specific Learning Difficulties, in which we recognised as a group that the courage to speak openly in front of your peers is not to be taken for granted.

We powered through many confidence building, anxiety quashing, education enhancing exercises today. Thanks to all the young people for attending, and big thanks to Active Fusion and The Barrier Buster Fund for funding us.

Bentley Myplace

Fully social distanced delivery at Bentley today. We ran two sessions backed by EXPECT Youth and the VCFS Microgrant fund, that supports voluntary groups and C.I.C’s like ours. We had originally planned to do these sessions before the first Covid-19 lockdown, and it is only through the support of Funding like this that we are still able to provide our services.

We had great engagement and full respect of the safe distance rules. A really inquisitive group today. I was glad I could answer questions about my nervous and accidental entry into the music business.

We had a lot of fun designing sounds. Group one worked on a spooky song featuring some vocals inspired by witches, warlocks and zombies. The afternoon group created a suspense filled jungle tune with live recorded sound effects.

We talked about the building blocks of music and the possibilities of a role in the creative industries. It was great to finally get to work with Sandy, and working with Carol is always a pleasure. As always with 90 Minute Music we like to celebrate positive achievements, and there were plenty of those in the room today.

We ended each session with an Electro-Acoustic Jam in which we got to grips with acoustic instruments and had a bit of a blow out. 100% engagement, plenty of smiles, and some great feedback. you can see part of the Jam by clicking on the link

I bumped into one of the boys as I was leaving the building, he said “are you coming back tomorrow? I said “no I am working somewhere else, did you enjoy it?” he said “yes” and I asked which part did you enjoy? he said “all of it”

It was a privilege to support the young people and youth leaders in their development and also to further my own. Thanks to all.