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.

Outwood Academy Adwick

After meeting with members of the Senior learning Team (S.L.T.) at Outwood Academy Adwick, we identified a need to support pupils in year 7.

90 Minute Music research has found that disaffected learners, can gain confidence and develop transferable skills that have been shown to improve results in literacy and numeracy.

We began by musical jamming, playing in a group and learning the value of respect. Once we found ourselves playing in time with each other, we were able to realise the importance of discipline.

We went on to try some rapping and beat-boxing. They learnt various skin drum techniques and began to see the possibilities offered by using the technology. The pupils had the idea that they would consider working on a remix, or could even form a band. The staff were supportive, professional and joined in when appropriate, so thanks to all involved.

It was incredible to be given the opportunity to work with these young people, to witness them gain belief, earn respect for each other, and express ambition to learn more.

The feedback was 10/10 again in respect of them enjoying the session and being interested in doing more.

I will be sending their feedback to the funding bodies, as session by session we are proving the worth of our role in improving outcomes for young people and their families.

The Base

It was great to meet up with James and Toby in Rossington on Thursday. I had been invited work with Young people that had been marginalised from the mainstream Education system. It was encouraging for me to work with this particular group because, like every other young person they have the typical challenges thrown at them in their teenage years, they also have unique additional challenges, which reminded me of my own.

Everyone engaged and it was good to see the staff taking the full opportunity to jam along and interact with the technology. I saw a lot of potential in the young people, and it was good to see real passion for creation being unlocked.

Despite the relentless rain and floods which have devastated our local communities, it was great to see the spirit of young people prevailing. I will be pursuing funding from organisations committed to helping young people in deprived communities reach their full potential.

Bentley Myplace

Wonderful to go back to the place where it all began last night. Good Engagement, Good feedback and an interesting mix of people from toddlers with their mums, to young teenagers. Really positive to hear interest in doing more work with digital music.

We engaged young people with Ableton Live, a very versatile digital software,which allows users of wide and varying experience and ability the opportunity to create music quickly. We throw into the mix 20 years of industry experience to help them have an immersive experience, which helps build confidence, learn new skills and promotes social values.

As expected from the year I volunteered here, it was a wide and varied group. Some were more hesitant than others, but it was great to give some of them an introduction to how technology can be used.

Fantastic to see the little ones interact with their parents.

We are applying for funding to go back and do more sessions to further benefit young people in deprived communities.

Follow us on social media to find out more.

An Invitation from Expect Youth and UK Youth.

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.