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.

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.

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.