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.

Mexborough Youth Club Campus

I went back to the place where I began my working life tonight. I had fond memories of the colourful characters I met back then and was looking forward to working with the young people.

I was invited by EPIC Doncaster to attend and was pleased to meet their staff along with a couple of former colleagues from the youth service. It was enlightening to see such a positive engagement, and good to see young people having the courage to engage with technology in front of their peers.

A particular highlight was having the opportunity to talk to young people about the town and what it was like back in the early 90s, I remember the people being very warm and friendly. We compared life back then, to its current problems with guns, gangs and knife crime. I hope the young people I worked with tonight take the positive opportunities that come along, and forge themselves a safer more positive future.

Again great to be working with experienced professionals who have an unwavering passion for supporting young people, and humbling to be asked to return.

Tom Hill Youth Hub

I was invited to attend Tom Hill Youth Hub in Denaby last night. I began working with a group of between 10 and 12 young people aged between 13 and 15. There was a healthy amount of banter between the group, we had a few highlights, and everyone had a chance to engage in an electro-acoustic jam session.

I decided to give an opportunity for some late arrivals to take an opportunity to experience deep space ping pong which is based around creating a conversation within music, the 3 girls who took part were all very different characters and they were saying beforehand that they generally don’t get along very well. It was good to see them working respectfully and then engaging in conversation afterwards.

There was a great deal of enthusiasm and skill shown from a good number of individuals and it would be great to return and bring a little more of the social bonding and creativity to the fore. Thanks to all who attended.

Outwood Academy Adwick

After witnessing some real courage and revealing some genuine talent last week, I was looking forward to getting back to the academy this week. It was to be our last session before the Christmas break.

We began by experimenting with some percussion instruments, it is important to warm up your bongo’s and ensure you are comfortable, the key to playing any instrument.

We decided we would attempt to create a song in an hour, we had to collectively make quick decisions to make this happen. We took inspiration from a poster on the wall of a Volcano.

We began by going through some drum loop samples and agreed that a driving beat would be most appropriate to represent the natural power of the Volcano, we quickly recorded some beat-boxing expertly performed by one of the group. Next we split up into two groups, one of us formulating a song, while the others perfected the beat.

We had some free flowing ideas coming from the limitations we were working in, a microcosm of artistic creation. We ended up adding some Synth sounds to create a Bassline, and other sounds which we had to agree on as a group to appropriately compliment our song.

The group worked well together, we achieved our objective and it was good to see cohesion between pupils who wouldn’t have chosen to work together initially. Thanks again to the pupils and support staff, see you in the new year.

Holmescarr Centre Rossington

We worked with young carers in Rossington last night. The young people aged 8 and 11 years had the additional responsibility of looking after their parents and siblings. They had this small window of 2 hours a week to get together with others who were in similar situations. I was asked to attend with them and It was a refreshing change to work with a smaller group.

They engaged wholeheartedly. We developed unique soundscapes, which were played live, learnt new instruments, and it was good to that everyone got involved. 90 Minute Music is built on making small achievements possible and quickly offering further challenges when progress is made. Incredible to witness confidence being gained and new skills attained in a very short period of time.

I will be returning to work with these young people in the New Year. I look forward to building on our progress, it was an absolute privilege to work with this group.

10/10 on the feedback in terms of enjoying the session and expressing the desire to do more 90 Minute Music sessions.