My approach to Music Groups
The background to my group work dates back to the early nineties where as an activity organiser for the elderly in day-care in London, I began what has developed into a popular music workshop. Finding out clients' tastes I would play their chosen songs on the guitar and aim to stimulate or provoke memories for a re-connection with self. Another aspect of this group involved playing gentle guitar music to soothe and relax.
I incorporated these two ideas into a music practicse whilst working for I.A.S. (Services) Ltd in Manchester.(2001-2004)I felt that music helped to complement the core services provided by organisations and could help in stimulating, relaxing or helping to deal with issues.
Moving on to September 2005, I went to work as a volunteer for the Creative Living Centre in Prestwich, which is a holistic support environment for people with emotional distress.I was encouraged to play my guitar in the "open space". Members naturally gravitated to it and from that we formed more structured groups based on the idea of maximum participation in a popular music workshop.
This would involve Members choosing songs which I played and ushering in participation via singing,dancing or using percussion based instruments.The members loved it and it was an approach the place needed.I always hoped I would eventually be employed by the centre and this came to fruition in August 2008 when I was employed as a sessional worker to provide a music / creative writing group.This group was based on the popular music workshop idea - it helped people to rediscover or unearth abilities as we moved into bringing out people's creativity in song.We eventually went on to perform our own material and cut a two-track disc in a local recording studio.
You can listen to one of the songs recorded at this session 'Let Your Soul' on the player on the right hand side.
The group remains for me one of the best things I have done and was instrumental in sowing seeds for other directions with those involved or reconnecting with lost abilities (i.e. gigging / vocal tuition).
In June 2009 I started providing an Energize with Music group for the Big Life Organisation based at it's Energize Centre in Charlestown.Initially given a ten week trial period, the group is still ongoing today and provides a genuine uplift for those attending.It is mainly inhabited by people with Learning disabilities and their support staff and gives me a unique opportunity to get these people together and learn to enjoy their own musical experience as well as trying to impart skills and structure.The group is well attended and provides huge motivation for those doing so.
Seeing my success with this group, Big Life asked me to facilitate a Musical Horizons project which was aimed at integrating refugees into the Salford community via the use of music.We worked on a couple of Iranian tunes and were aiming to put them into performance.The model was to harmonise songs and ideas from all around the globe.We also introduced those involved to English songs as it helped them identify more with this country and helps in their learning of the language.Sadly that group came to an end but I feel We did make life better for those people when it was ongoing.
I began to work for Calderstones in Blackley in august 2011 and asked to provide musical stimulation in three of it's homes.The music I provide brings about release,motivation,pleasure and joy as well as creating a relaxing vibe throughout the households.I am now being employed by that same organisation to provide a more specific musical stimulation for one of it's clients to act as a release for him and an adjunct to communication. Stockdales in Sale contacted me also last august with a view to providing a sensory music session at it's main base on Harboro road.The effect on clients and organisation has been huge and the whole place is talking about it.I am able to interract with clients with autism and enlist their involvement,create songs from obsessions and get the whole group playing together.The group serves as a tremendous release and a source of great pleasure
The structure of the music groups has now developed into many different strands.As well as the popular music workshop I have developed MUSIC APPRECIATION.The key thing here is to improve listening and concentration skills.After listening to pieces of music Service users will be asked what they heard in the music?.Some semblance of discussion is aimed at.IMPROVISATION BASED AROUND PERCUSSION INSTRUMENTS aims to bring about listening and concentration skills as well as genuine creative ideas.DANCING; has always been a key element of workshops and is employed and encouraged in all my different strands.I encourage all service users to take part and to lose themselves completely.INDIVIDUAL PRESENTATION OF PERSONAL MUSIC;bringing out communication and creative skills.SESSIONS BASED AROUND DIFFERENT INSTRUMENTS;aims to unearth individual creativity as well as being able to play to rhythmns set by the group.Instruments are employed are Glockenspiels.keyboards.hand chimes,djembes.The different strands are varied week to week thus keeping the groups fresh and interesting.
DISCO AND DANCE;genuine expression through dance;Service Users to perform dance routines.
NATURE SOUNDS FOR RELAXATION AND IMAGINATION
These strands are applicable for one to one sessions also.;
Why choose me?
Because of my experience with various groups such as the elderly, those experiencing emotional distress or those with learning difficulties,autism and refugees I understand the issues faced by my clients. Therefore, by providing a safe environment and personal guidance, I am able to bring a positive influence to the group sessions making those taking part want to get involved and come back again and again due to the effectiveness of my work. My passion and enthusiasm are infectious.
I am a natural songwriter I am able to help bring out the creativity in people I work with.
Group sessions are usually commissioned by organisations and my fees range in price. £30 per hour for organisations or £12.50 per service user if I come to your home.An open access group takes place every wednesday between 12 and 1.30 employing all the approaches mentioned.Entrance here is £4 per person.Warm drinks available. Barton Village Community Centre.Enfield close.Eccles.
Group sessions are tailored to meet the needs of individuals taking part.
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"BE AFFECTED BY MUSIC"