The 100 club!!!

This week represents a small milestone in our progress as a company. It is the first time we have delivered our intensive Music workshop to over 100 young people in the same week.

From 5 different venues we have delivered intensively, working with ages from 4 to 17, carefully pitching each individual session to the appropriate age. We worked with 20 different groups in total.

Big thanks to Active Fusion and Youth Hubs Staff along with our new volunteer Tom, and all the staff and pupils from; Kirk Sandall Infants School, Bentley High Street Primary, Moorends West Road Primary , Tom Hill Youth Hub and Bentley Myplace Youth Hub.

We will be at Tom Hill Youth Hub on Wednesday 28th from 12-2pm and Myplace Bentley on Friday 30th 12-2pm, book for FREE through us direct or through Youthhubs

Active Fusion Campsmount Academy

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.

Bentley Myplace

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.

Click the video link to find out what is happening in the pics :

Bentley Myplace

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

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.

Musical or Non-Musical. The Mark Ellis Podcast.

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.

Vibe Music’s Mark Ellis Podcast 1

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.

check the website :

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.

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.