Lewisham Music collaborated alongside industry professional artists/workshop leaders Intalekt, Kenny Baraka, Arthur Lea and Alice Hale. Our series of online songwriting sessions focused on exploring creative processes, helping young people to shape motifs, lyrics and other ideas, as well as providing inspiration as professionals in the music industry.
28 young creatives aged 10-18, took part in the ‘Fellowship Music Collective’ and were split across two age groups, 11-13 and 14-18. Each group accessed a full two-day creative programme, where the creative process and direction was be driven by the young people. Sessions included a series of break-out rooms where Music Leaders worked with individual or small groups to develop creative ideas, develop skills and record new music.
“I like the orchestral music Vika made…made me start thinking about sampling classical music into my drill beats.”
David AKA D3 Beatz, age 16
Who we worked with
young people through taster workshops
young creatives through projects
of young people are from areas ranked as the most deprived (measured against the IMD)
are from the African diaspora
were from the Asian diaspora and
were from other ethnically diverse communities
are in receipt of Free School Meals
Music mentoring evaluation
Following their music mentoring workshops…
of young people felt better able to express their own ideas through music
of young people felt they had learned new songwriting skills
of young people felt they had learned new music production skills
of young people felt they developed a deeper understanding of songwriting
of young people felt the workshop had inspired them to continue their musical learning journey
Feedback from young creatives
“As Kenny said – “nobody’s movin’ like this”; opportunities like this teach me more about the industry as well as allow me to work with other people my age to further my understanding of music production. I don’t usually get to produce music/write lyrics with other people as most of my friends are more into making covers than writing songs so it gave me the opportunity to learn techniques by other people!”
Young person A, age 18
“I never really saw myself as a lyricist, I’ve always seen myself as a producer. This project has helped me challenge that. Being able to write as well as produce means I am now able to make my musical ideas come alive.”
Young person B, age 15
“This project has made me to get outside of what I know and think about how I work with others, it has also let me work across different genres.”
Young person C, age 12
“It has been really interesting to collaborate with musicians with different musical skills. This project has given me something to focus on and has inspired me to think about the way I make music differently.”
Young person D, age 11
“I liked how you could try things without the pressure of everyone hearing straight away. As someone that is quite shy, doing the project online gave me space and time to learn and gain confidence at my own pace.”
Young person E, age 11
“It was really interesting to see the process of other professional artists and work alongside them to collaborate. I loved working with Intalekt as his approach to production is different from what I have seen before.”
Young person F, age 16
Feedback from parents/carers
We caught up with some of the parents/carers of the young creatives to get their insights into how they feel the project has helped:
“My son is dyslexic, and he finds with music that there are no limitations in terms of him expressing himself. With this specific workshop we were amazed to see how engaging he found the content. He found it easy to embrace all the activities and he remained focussed throughout. This was possible because of the content and the way music speaks to him. He said it was the highlight of his half-term and he is already using what he learnt in the workshop when analysing songs and sharing his new knowledge with us.”
“These music workshops are providing my son with a well-rounded education. He becomes more self-confident in forming friendships, understands that teamwork is very important social skill to succeed in life. His memory improves and at the end of the workshop there is this feeling of achievement. I really think that music boosts my son’s creativity.”
“Nathaniel said he really enjoyed himself and didn’t want it to end. He missed out on learning an instrument early on in school. So finding his voice through singing and production on this project might be a way of getting more involved!”
“These opportunities are completely invaluable. The children are exposed to skills and experiences that we parents wouldn’t normally be able to provide. This is an enrichment to their lives and skills. Music is not only a skills, it is good for their soul.”
“To be able to get together with other people to be creative is so important and is not something which can happen during an instrument lesson. This project opened up new ways of my child thinking about music and being experimental. In a world in which it is seen as important to get things ‘right’ this is a valuable lesson to learn. She was challenged to do things outside her comfort zone, which although she initially found uncomfortable she was glad she had done it. It was also good for her to mix with people of different ages and abilities and just think about music in a different way – not only playing existing pieces of music but trying to create your own. This was also a fabulous opportunity during this pandemic when so many other avenues have been closed for children to socialise and expand their skills and experiences. Thank you!”
Feedback from project facilitators
“This project has provided a nurturing creative space for young musicians to come together and make music. The environment built in throughout the Fellowship Music Collective allowed young people to experiment, make mistakes and develop. It was great to see young people push themselves personally, socially and musically.”
“This project has shown what can be achieved when you allow young musicians the space to take a creative lead. The project raised the levels of quality and creativity beyond what the groups initially expected, we could see this from the excitement about the work. This project gave young people the freedom to step into new musical territories and develop a sense of ownership over their new music.”
Reflections and project takeaways
Engaging and Retaining Young People – For the older group in particular the project team spent time to develop a working environment that felt authentically professional, but left spaces for young people to socialise and enjoy the full creative process. The team invested time to make sure that young people felt heard and valued right the way through the project. Workshop leaders created a space where the young people were seen and heard, not just by our team, but by themselves and others within the group.
Striking the Balance Between ‘Product’ and ‘Process’ – The project team identified early on that the focus for this project should be on creative process and did not want to be constrained by working towards a product. This freedom allowed Music Leaders to explore a variety of creative stimuli and leave space to empower the group to make creative decisions from the start. In fact, this open workshop structure with the older group allowed them to develop a self-defined working process that facilitated the creation of multiple new motifs and song parts.
Uniting young people from different musical backgrounds – This project explored the non-obvious ways to develop young people’s musical skills regardless of their level of musicianship. Throughout this project it highlighted that young people’s characters and perspectives become as important as the instruments they play, or how skilled they may be.
If you’d like to read more about the impact of our work or if you’d like to make some music with us then check out ‘Taking part’ and ‘Our impact’ below.