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Voices and Choices: Supporting children with complex needs through improvisation and music making.

In Summer we had our first Voices and Choices workshop.
Watch our project videos here

Our new Youth Music project “Voices and Choices” got off to a great start with a presentation at Cumbria Music Hub Conference by Sarah Bisson on “Music and Mental Health in the Classroom.” Teachers were wowed by our young participants who performed some of the music they had written at our first 3-day holiday workshop. The workshop had created music for 3 animated films devised by the Children in Care Council and shown at the CICC October Conference “Celebrate Us!”

The young people said after the workshop: “I can make new friends easier than I thought”

“I like music a lot more and people appreciate my talent”

“It was a fun and inspirational experience”

“Never be afraid to try new things, things like this can get you places”.

After a follow-up recording session with two of the young composers, one said: “This was the best evening of my life.”

“Voices and Choices” supports children with complex needs and Children Looked After to create their own music and sounds, through improvisation and composition sessions. We aim to work in a way and in environments where the children’s creative needs come first and they feel valued. A series of taster sessions which include families and carers means their creative activity can be shared with the people closest to them and music-making can be encouraged in the home and its value demonstrated.  We are producing online resources compiled collectively through regular CPD sessions with the project team. Training sessions will up skill teachers and staff across Cumbria with blogs to flag up successes and opportunities for progression. Our focus is to identify the skills and approaches that can be transferred from SEND and CLA settings into mainstream music activity.

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