“Creativity is not a single ability that only some people have. Its a process that draws on a wide array of aptitudes that we all have.” – Sir Ken Robinson
I operate as a Creative Practitioner, Community Artist and Masterclass Presenter in the formal and informal sectors of UK education. I specialise in 3 main areas of creative delivery:- Songwriting, Music Production and Band Development. I also specialise in delivering music business workshops which offer insights into how today’s music industry actually operates.I deliver a wide variety of projects that are tailored to the needs of young people from under-privileged backgrounds or circumstances that require social development to offer creative and engaging paths that are all based around the medium of music. I work in a variety of settings focusing closely on Looked After Children, Youth At Risk, NEATs and Special Needs in addition to mainstream education and FE and HE level settings.
Songwriting – ‘It’s not all about writing hit records’
Ok, to some people it is! However, songwriting holds an array of social benefits to young people and can offer non-musicians an opportunity to become creative with lyrics and topline melodies. Songwriting, like poetry and rap, explores and projects people’s inner most thoughts and feelings as a therapeutic and socially viable outlet. Creativity in schools is growing and songwriting offers an alternative to traditional methods of teaching a good command of the english language. I offer a range of songwriting opportunities starting with one day experiences right through to year length programmes. On all occasions a professionally mixed and mastered CD is made available to all students at the end of the project. This area of work specifically targets Key stage 2 but can be adapted for other ages.
Music Production – A Cross Curricular Exercise
I teach music technology and music production to a wide variety of young people and adult learners. I use music technology as a medium to reach young people and to help them to express themselves. I tailor each project around either a set theme or aim or use music technology in conjunction with other multimedia based learning. I use a wide variety of DAW (Digital Audio Workstation) and MIDI (Musical Instrument Digital Interface) software and hardware set ups dependent on the task at hand. As complicated as that may sound, its actually highly engaging and can be as simple as you want it to be. Music Technology is especially useful when working beginners as it offers a soft kinaesthetic approach to learning. Its also very useful for community centres in inner city urban areas that like to keep high participation in order to tackle anti social behaviour as urban genres such as Hip Hop, Grime, RnB and Dubstep are styles of music that are depicted very easily with digital music making. Music Technology is also popular in alternative education settings such as Pupil Referral Units as it offers an expressive outlet with simplicity and attractability.
One of the greatest things about the use of music technology with young people is that it offers a cross curricular learning path. Young people are often oblivious to the fact that whilst they’re “making their beats” they’re also learning the strong fundamental values behind maths (beats, bar counts, rhythmic values, tempos and time signatures), science(sound science, tech, acoustics, etc) and english (lyrics, rhymes, word definitions and general vocabulary enhancement).
Band Development – Uniting young people amongst values of equality
One of the fastest growing areas of community music is ‘Band Building’ or ‘Band Development’. Again, this works in a variety of ways but is it seen as a huge factor in combatting anti social behaviour in Britain’s pocket towns and communities. A typical Band Building project would be where groups of teenagers are put together to form a band that eventually becomes self sustainable. Young people are taught how to play instruments or sing in order to create a band that can write, perform and record songs. It’s community cohesion at its strongest, hence why it’s a growing area.
Music Mentor – One to One
On many occasions its necessary to work one-to-one with young people in order to raise their self esteem and confidence through the medium of music. Lets say a kid at school is struggling with maths but they’re into rap music? I’ll teach them how to build their own rap through subconscious levels of numerical teaching. You get the picture. Almost any area of struggle in life can be combatted through the power of music. Believe me.
Accreditation – Get a qualification for your hard work!
In addition to this, I always find it important to gain accreditation for young people’s hard work. I am a trained Arts Award adviser and can put young people through a series of workshops based on their musical passion and they can come out of it with a nationally recognised qualification such as an Arts Award.
FE Level work
I operate as a Lecturer / Engineer for MAS Records and work closely with 16-18 year Singers, Songwriters and Musicians.
I also offer workshops and presentation style talks at FE and HE Level including such subjects as Song Placement, How To Use Pro Tools In A Day, Impact Writing (My own method of Songwriting), Self Marketing In The Music Business and my very popular Laptop Pop Production 101.
Clients Include – Youth Music, Access To Music, Kidderminster College, AMS Birmingham, Make Some Noise, Mac Makes Music, The Hive, Quench Arts.