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.

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.