Along with fellow directors Louise Beioley-Flynn and Dominic Woodhouse we accepted membership of Expect Youth, and we have just completed work on the UK Youth First Steps Quality Mark. We have also accepted membership of UK Youth and look forward to supporting them in creating positive outcomes for young people in the future.
All our staff have full enhanced D.B.S. checks, add to that Safeguarding certificates, Prevent, Zero Suicide Alliance, G.D.P.R., and Level 3 First Aid. We have also just completed an intensive N.C.F.E. course in Understanding Specific Learning Difficulties. Along with our industry expertise that spans over 20 years, we have everything in place to deliver quality sessions safely.
Although the main elements of our work are about fun and group engagement, the serious matters of professional practice and safety are always at the core of our mindset.
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.
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.
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.
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 https://youtu.be/0FLq0cHD4yM
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.
We have gratefully received support via the Barrier Buster fund from DMBC and Well Doncaster. It was critical that we received this funding to continue our good work with the often-disadvantaged young people of Doncaster.
Follow us on social media today to find out how you may be able to access FREE sessions for young people to support mental health and develop valuable transferable skills.
The first in our series of interviews with professional musicians is with Mark Ellis. Mark was in the same year at School and we both played for the School team. I had heard that Mark had gone on to be a professional musician, so I contacted him to ask if he would like to speak about his journey. Mark is as humble as he ever was and although he has played with some of the real icons of modern music, he shares the message that anyone can be musical and once it is there, it is a light that never goes out.
To hear about his near-death experience, opening night at Café Mambo in Ibiza and a real down to earth conversation about the life of a pro musician click below.
Feel free to forward the first 3 minutes as it is just us getting acquainted. I thought my first Podcast interview was going to present me as a Micheal Parkinson or a Jonathon Ross. I think I have a way to go before I reach those dizzy heights, nevertheless it was really enlightening to hear what Mark had to say.
We recently spoke with Paul Littlewood, studio manager at Higher Rhythm. I met Paul originally to find out about the outreach work that he oversees in Schools around Doncaster. I became interested after hearing about the record label he set up with the help of pupils at Coppice School, who were one of the Schools we worked with a few years ago while developing 90 Minute Music.
Paul has supported us with advice on working in the third sector and as well as being a great person to chat with, he shares our passion for improving outcomes for young people.
We have currently been developing a 12 week fully funded programme to support disadvantaged YP in the Doncaster Area. I asked Paul if he would like to get involved in supporting our sessions with a Studio visit and he was happy to oblige. We had already secured a local artist to make a guest appearance on one of the sessions and I felt that a visit to a professional environment would be beneficial from a point of showing possible career pathways, or progression through further training.
Along with providing HE courses in Music Technology, Higher Rhythm encompass Professional recording studios, A record Label, An FM Radio station; SINE FM, and offer support to artists through a network of industry contacts. We hope to collaborate on many projects in the future further adding value of expertise to the work we do.
We are proud to announce that we have received our First Steps Quality Mark from UK Youth.
It was a huge effort from not just my-self but fellow directors Louise Beioley Flynn and Dominic Woodhouse. It recognises our attention to detail on Safeguarding, Health & Safety, Risk assessments, Staff induction, Specialist Qualifications, GDPR, and so much more.
A big hand goes out to Clare Galliers of EXPECT Youth for not only inviting us to be members but supporting us through this process with her time and professional expertise. Big thanks to Jane Nolan at UK Youth for an invitation to membership and showing the diligence to provide the marking for what turned out to be a huge document. Thanks also go out to Kayleigh Wainwright at UK Youth who kept good lines of communication sometimes out of hours to support.
It was an incredible learning curve for us, but we are incredibly proud to have received this professional quality mark, which reminds us of how far we have come and can provide further confidence for the groups and clients we provide services for.
Morethaned are an Alternative Provision who provide an attachment and trauma aware provision for young people who have become disengaged with mainstream education.
Their focus is on improving mental health and building resilience through strong relationships and learning essential skills.
After speaking with a senior member of staff, we decided that the focus would be on engagement and supporting essential skills. Over the course of the week we worked in small groups and sometimes one on one.
We worked on sound design and creating our own instruments using Ableton Live. The engagement was immediate, and the levels of concentration shown by the young people were incredible. We incorporated elements of English as pupils wrote down Rap lyrics to go with the Hip Hop style music we created.
We discussed with some of the students the opportunity of producing a track, after discussing which musical genres they listened to, such as Donk, Grime and mainstream Pop. The idea we had was to eventually release a track on to one of the digital music platforms like Soundcloud or collaborating with a local artist to do so. The aiming high element of essential skills can be a difficult one to impart on to disengaged young people, but they have an awareness of the commercial elements of music, so it is a good motivator.
It was great to see the young people benefiting from our unique approach, they were respectful, hard-working, intelligent, and although I could see how they didn’t fit well with mainstream education, they have a lot to offer and I wish them well in the future.
The feedback from staff was that that these students don’t tend to engage quickly in new activities, however 90 Minute Music received 100% engagement from the students who were invited to take part.
It is becoming a familiar story to us at 90 Minute Music, but this positive feedback is always good to hear. We were especially grateful to the staff, who were always on hand to offer support, and thanks to Karen for giving us the opportunity to play our part in supporting a positive future for these young people and their families.
A wonderful session last night incorporating a couple of new faces. It was great to have Amanda from Doncaster College Health and Social care in attendance to support our new volunteer Harvey.
We met with Amanda after being introduced through EXPECT Youth. Amanda was interested in working with us after discussing how 90 Minute Music can help people with Health and Development. We interviewed Harvey who has ambitions to become a Paramedic in the future. He proved himself to be engaging and diligent in his work and he will be joining us in the upcoming weeks delivery at Highfields.
It was positive to have engaged with our first volunteer from the viewpoint of delivery. I discussed with Harvey how delivering 90 Minute Music can be fast-paced and utilising digital technology throughout. He recognised that there will be an opportunity to learn transferable skills that will help him when he qualifies as a Paramedic.
The young people who joined us are a credit to their families, they applied themselves to every task and took on new challenges to build on what they had achieved the week before. When I asked the group what they had remembered from the previous week? they mumbled that they couldn’t remember but when I prompted them with the music there was an outpouring of detailed elements of what they had learnt the previous week which is a more common outcome.
Bobby from EXPECT Youth visited the session and we welcomed him to take part which he did with no hesitation. We briefly discussed Snowball the dancing Cockatoo and the science behind 90 Minute Music and how it is formulated to support young people with their development. It was fantastic to hear from him that he felt 90 Minute Music was a unique experience and he left with a greater understanding of the benefits.
Big Thanks to Liz again for the support, we will be back at Highfields Boxing Club for the next 4 weeks, it is a FREE to attend session so come and join us at 3.45pm on Wednesday afternoon.