Posts

An Affiliation with Higher Rhythm Recording Studios

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.

A Visit to Higher Rhythm Studios becomes part of the 90 Minute Music experience

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.

Check the website:     https://www.higherrhythm.co.uk/

90 Minute Music receive UK Youth Quality Mark

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.

The UK Youth First Steps to Safer Spaces Quality Mark

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.

Our completed Safer Spaces folder.

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

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.

The Ableton Push Controller is a tactile instrument for creating music

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.

Highfields Boxing Club

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.

Highfields Boxing Club

A Wholehearted thank you to everyone who attended this evening not least Liz, who gave her time and energy to support the session. We had a full on engagement, and it was pleasing that word got out to young people in surrounding villages who made a real effort to attend. I didn’t expect our first session to delve into how music can help boxers in their future sporting endeavours, but we did touch on how the science behind both are sometimes aligned.

We had young people enjoying their first experience of acoustic drums and it was good to see people freely playing. We had a cool jam and also tried our hand at rapping as a group, which everyone showed the courage to do.

After we briefly talked about the possibilities of using the technology, we discussed as a group the potential for what we could do in the coming weeks, it is important to let these sessions be youth led and then structured to give them the most benefit in a relatively small time frame. We agreed on the direction we wanted to take, and after learning the fundamentals today, we have real scope for achieving something incredible. For those that missed the first one don’t worry, we will be here for the next five weeks every Wednesday from 3.45pm. 4/3/20

Thanks to all the people on social media who helped spread the word that this session would be Fun Free and Fantastic (you were right), also big thanks and respect to EXPECT Youth for not only supporting us in funding these sessions, but also for reaching out to our local communities in Doncaster, where provision is needed most.

Tom Hill Youth Hub

We delivered at Tom Hill Youth Hub last night and it was a pleasure to see the young people engaging and taking part together. We shared an incredibly enthusiastic electro-acoustic jam, and as always a good mix of girls and boys getting involved. New skills being learnt, and confidence gained, most notably though the social aspect last night, good communication and respect throughout.

I would like to thank all the young people for joining us at Tom Hill for the last few weeks, plenty of courage and creativity, I would also like to thank the staff for their hard work and professionalism. Look forward to working with you again.

Sheffield Children’s Hospital

We have just delivered an immersive session at Sheffield Children’s Hospital. We were invited to work on one of the wards to offer some stimulation to children who were staying there. Flexibility was key today as there were children of varying ages and some with additional needs. Extra care was taken in sanitising all the equipment before, during and after the session.

We began by getting hands on with the equipment. One of the boys had used something similar before and said he had tried Fruity Loops, which is a piece of software I was familiar with. We created a few small riffs on the step sequencer before the rest of the group filtered in. Individuals in the group were coming in and out as they had to speak to the Doctors etc. but it didn’t deflect from the sense of synergy in the room. We had a couple of wheelchair users and as always we accommodated them by moving the technology closer to them. One of the older members of the group told us he had done DJ-ing before and it showed when he took charge of the controller and pushed the tempo.

Wonderful to see the parents and staff getting involved with the session today. Great to see smiles on faces, and for us it was a reminder that technology should be implemented when there is a purpose, and the purpose today was to allow young people, who are already facing challenges, to gain confidence and express themselves beyond the confines of their medical issues.

As always we link to the Gatsby benchmarks and it was a highlight to talk with one of the parents about her daughters burgeoning acting career. Lets hope all the young people I met today can recover from their illnesses and hopefully be inspired by the possibilities of using digital technology to enrich their lives.

We were asked to return to the hospital to do further work with the young people, which we fully intend to do. It was a pleasure to work with you, thanks for inviting us.

Tom Hill Youth Hub

Great session today. I am always amazed at the courage and creativity that can be produced by young people. Wonderful willingness to learn and create.

After quickly getting to grips with the Cajon, we used the microphone to record some vocals. We then imported the audio into the Sampler, where we manipulated it using the oscillators. The rotary knobs on the push controller were used to further get to grips with the sound until we were happy with it. We created an arrangement to fit with some nicely sung vocals, then programmed some drums.

Thanks for making this session Youth Led. Look forward to working with you next Monday from 6 at Tom Hill.

An incredible week for 90 Minute Music

We have just completed the UK Youth First Steps to Safer Spaces. Although a labour intensive pursuit, we got there with the support of Claire Galliers of EXPECT Youth, who worked tirelessly to support us. The audit itself was to make sure we had our house in order regarding Safeguarding, Health and Safety, Data protection and Planning, It’s completion puts us in a much better position to provide quality provision to young people and give positive outcomes to them and their families.

We hope to achieve some funding from the UK Youth organisation who are passionate about helping young people (which we are members of), who are currently looking to increase youth provision nationwide. Fingers crossed!!!!

On Thursday evening I had a meeting with EXPECT Youth and SGT. Ward of South Yorkshire Police. I was speaking to her about my experience of volunteering for the youth service. It was good to hear her positive outlook on Policing within the areas in which she works.

Yesterday we were invited to the Keepmoat Stadium to attend the Opportunities Doncaster event, which was geared towards getting businesses to see the potential offered by young people, and also identifying the benefits for both employer and trainee or intern. I was speaking to representatives of DMBC, and Keepmoat and it was enlightening to hear that relatively large organisations like these are focusing on young people and putting faith in them to be custodians of not only their organisations, but also the social fabric of the town.

It was great to meet Chris from Primary Engineering at the event. After watching his presentation, I asked him questions about his work with primary school pupils and was inspired by some of the things he told me. We will come away from this event better equipped to do our job at 90 Minute Music, so thanks to Opportunities Doncaster for bringing us together.

Tom Hill Youth Hub

Back at Tom Hill in Denaby tonight. We began with a group of boys in their young teens, we kept the group down to 6 initially tonight. Although engagement had been good in respect of numbers, I was looking for a little more quality tonight.

We began by discussing building on what we had done the week before. MC Smally had told us he was going to bust some lyrics, so we began to lace a track based on the four lines he had. We had good coherence from the group in deciding how to get to a common goal.

The second group tonight were the girls from the previous week. They had clear visions of what they liked and communicated well on how they might achieve it. Also good communication between each other, which isn’t something you can always take for granted.

The Ableton Push Controller was the main tool we used tonight

I saw good development tonight which we will build on next week, thanks to all for being attentive and focused in a difficult environment.