This year I’ve been delighted to carry on with the accessible music workshops on Wellspring’s behalf. The sessions are largely funded by The Ernest Kleinwort Charitable Trust and lots of groups have benefitted again, with a few more sessions to run this year including DJ sessions, percussion workshops and electronic music workshops.
The Brazilian percussion workshops are always fun and totally accessible. I always enjoy running the sessions and seeing young people gain in confidence and express themselves so freely. Everyone plays together, creates beats and learns some great rhythms!
For the DJ and electronic music workshops it’s always really important to me to give young people with disabilities access to top quality electronic music equipment and let them have as much hands on experience as possible. I use professional Pioneer mixing decks for DJ sessions, with microphones and a great sound system. We also run music tech sessions on our brilliant Mac Mini’s; running Garageband and Logic Pro to create, record and compose music. I also find that electronic percussion instruments are really accessible and fun for people with disabilities, so I have a Roland Handsonic, Korg Wavdrum and also a Roland SPDX, all of which are professional units and brilliant to play!
I ran some fun workshops for PACSO again this year. One group of workshops was at their summer playscheme and we had a blast with the drums! There were three groups of around eight young people playing together and really enjoying themselves. Here’s some great feedback from Emma Kennedy at PACSO:
“The children and young people loved the sensory experience. Some children loved it so much that they went to three sessions in a row! It was a joy to see the enjoyment on their faces.”
I’m always privileged and humbled to work at Chestnut Tree House and in the summer they had a party for their youth group. Of course young people with disabilities were the DJs and they all did brilliantly, playing their DJ sets at the party. There were six DJs playing and they overcame performance nerves and played music in front of families and staff at Chestnut Tree House to create a great party vibe! The feedback on the day was really moving with staff saying it was one of the best sessions they’d experienced at the house. I had an assistant too for the sessions – a student from Brighton MET (formerly Northbrook), who really enjoyed the experience and is keen do more workshops with me.
A new group that I worked with this year was Time4U in Bognor Regis. I took the drums down to their base in Bognor and we had a great time playing rhythms together! The young people loved the session! Check out the feedback from T4U!: “Thanks for an amazing drum session! They loved every moment and even some who wouldn’t usually join in loved it too! One particular boy enjoyed it so much that he was more involved events for the rest of the day. Thank you for bringing such fun to their lives”.
In October I was back at PACSO to run some electronic music workshops for their youth group in Chichester. The young people loved using the decks and electronic percussion. They learned new skills and were able to mix songs and create sets for their friends to enjoy. The sessions were an opportunity to include music in a social capacity and enable young people to express themselves with their peers. A good time was had by everyone.
I’m always very grateful for the opportunities that the Wellspring workshops create and it’s so heart-warming to see how music and creativity has a positive effect on everybody; regardless of disability. I’m looking forward to the next round of sessions!
If you are interested in finding out more about Wellspring funded music workshops, please get in touch with Adam!