I Speak Music is a project bringing together professionals and community groups who work with newly arrived and vulnerable young people through music.
Between April and December 2018, a team of talented and enthusiastic professional musicians and supporters will work with these young people (who might be young asylum seekers, young refugees or young people who have been trafficked to UK). They will provide a number of taster sessions, song writing and music workshops during the school holidays, a time when young people can feel the most isolated and vulnerable, and will together share the fruits of their experience at a celebration concert for friends, family and supporters.
The activities will provide a safe and supportive environment for expression, creativity and musical skills, as well as practical tools such as relaxation through breathing and rhythm exercises. Sessions will focus on exploring shared identities to serve as a catalyst to create new music together. They will be able to make new friends, relax and have fun while making music – their music. Instruments are provided – western classical, rock and those sourced from participants’ region of birth.
Tutors, supporters and project partners will also grow through this experience, as they are equal players. They will gain a better understanding of the challenges these young people face and grow in confidence through engaging with them. Planning and awareness training sessions will be provided for all staff working on the project, and each music session will end with dedicated time for the music team to reflect and evaluate the session.
The project believes that by participating in ‘I Speak Music’, the budding young musicians will grow in self-confidence as well as improving their musical skills and increasing their life opportunities.
Specifically and longer term the project hopes that the young people who take part will be inspired to join and progress onto other Surrey Arts ensembles and groups. This will mean that they will continue to develop what they have learnt and explore other music genres after the project ends.
- To bring together professionals and community groups who work with, or have an interest in supporting newly arrived and vulnerable young people through the arts and music.
- To deliver song writing taster workshops, music workshops, and a celebration concert of participants’ experience.
- To develop the musical skills and build the self-confidence of the young musicians.
- To allow tutors, supporters and project partners to also grow through this experience by gaining a better understanding of the challenges these young people face and grow in confidence in engaging with them.
- To inspire participants to join and progress onto other Surrey Arts ensembles and groups.
- To continue to develop what they have learned and explore music genres after the project ends.
- “When I came to this country it was a bit strange to me, it didn’t feel very comfortable to be in a new place, new language and meeting new people, going back to square one. Meeting people like Jim [Pinchen, project manager] made such a difference in my life – I think everyone feels the same when they come and take part in this project. They feel welcome and feel like they can play a part” – Rajhad Haddad, violist, I Speak Music Community Orchestra
- “What I love about it is the diversity of the group and the fact that, whenever we have a rehearsal, everyone comes not quite knowing what’s going to happen, not quite confident, slightly insecure, and some of them come from quite a solitary place. By the end of the rehearsal the energy of the music has really solidified everyone together – it’s a beautiful energetic experience.” – Sara Khoroosi, freelance musician, Surrey Arts worker
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