During the Easter holidays Ipswich Community Media ran a Music Project at South Street Studios in collaboration with Suffolk County Council’s Aspire project and Brotherhood, a local successful rap duo.
The main purpose of the project was to engage young people in positive, diversionary activity over the summer before they transition into post 16 education. The project ran twice a week, and the sessions ran 10am-2pm on a Tuesday and Wednesday.
The referrals came directly from the County Council as the Aspire project had already been working with the young people and had been able to start to build relationships with them, developing trust which was a huge part of the success of the project.
The sessions were delivered in a relaxed yet engaging way and was guided by the young people’s interests ensuring they were getting the most out of their sessions.
Alongside the music, we also had 1-2-1 sessions with the young people and looked at their next steps and post 16 progression routes.
Within the music sessions the young people worked with the music professionals to develop lyric writing skills and spent time in the studios putting together tracks and making beats. Some of the participants had a go at rapping and adding vocals and recording their tracks.
Throughout the programme, alongside the main content, group discussions took place on various topics such as County Lines and Exploitation and what was going on in their local area, views on the Police, education experiences, social media, and emotional well-being.
There is increasing acknowledgement of the role that music and arts can help to play in contributing to a wide range of outcomes for young people.
Project evaluations have reported a wide range of outcomes for participants in music projects including: increased engagement with learning and employment, improved skills, increased confidence and self-esteem, improved communication, interaction and relationships, improved attitudes and responsibility, increased awareness, enhanced capacity for reflection and expression of feelings, and improved self-discipline and behaviour.
Young people taking part in our projects report positive experiences, including enjoyment, distraction from risky behaviour and awareness of new opportunities.
During the project the participants developed some strong relationships with the workers. The young people said they felt listened to, believed in, no-one was judging them, and where grateful that people where spending time with them on something they were interested in.