Project Y Nott is soundLINCS’ music delivery with the Nottinghamshire Youth Justice Service. It is part of soundLINCS’ Youth Music FundC musical inclusion programme, which is taking place throughout Nottinghamshire, Leicester/shire and Lincolnshire over the next 3 years. The project delivers music workshops and training with Children in Challenging Circumstances across 5 diverse strands; looked after children, youth justice services, paediatric services, young parents and children with special educational needs, including those who are hearing impaired.
Over the project’s first year we have worked with almost 150 young people in both 1-2-1 and group workshops, and several inspiring and interesting stories have emerged, including that of Alex featured in a previous blog. Below are two more case studies of some of the young people we have worked with, including examples of the fantastic tracks they have produced. (Young People’s names have been changed).
Chris’ Case Study
Chris is the longest receiver of 1-2-1s through the Nottinghamshire Youth Justice Service and soundLINCS, having received 18 weeks of sessions, and is a very quiet and reserved individual who very rarely opens up or reveals anything. The sessions began because he was a talented and passionate rapper who wanted to learn more about making music that he would then be able to perform over. He started the sessions by using his own laptop with Logik on, which he had a small amount of prior experience on. He continued to use this for the entire first 6 weeks and was reluctant to move on to any other programme. He made great progress in this time and was hugely advanced by the time these first 6 weeks had passed, having practically mastered all of the main functions the programme had to offer.
After the second set of workshops began, it became clear that Logik was limiting him and he would advance further on other programmes. With some persuasion, Music Facilitator Eddy encouraged him to switch to a soundLINCS laptop and start exploring Cubase. This new challenge and opportunity to develop really saw him become more confident, and in the 10th session he was able to rap in front of Eddy and Damian, his case worker, for the first time.
His rapping, as well as being to a very high standard, was a great change of pace from what a lot of young offenders write about. The content was heartfelt and clean, with Chris pointing out that he saw no need to use swear words or violent imagery to convey his message, as that was not what his passion was for. He came across as a very intelligent individual who had no intention to re-offend and who was very regretful for his previous convictions.
Having seen his performance, Eddy encouraged Chris to extend for a further 6 weeks so that they could bring his talents together so he could write and produce a new track using samples from some of his favourite producers. He said that the opportunity to mix his work with that of his musical idols was a long term ambition of his, and he even had the confidence to send it to the artists he had used asking for feedback and to try and build connections.
Chris never missed a single session without good cause and was always very disappointed to hear that he had reached the end of session, always trying to capitalise on every possible minute. The workshops gave him a real focus and outlet for his passion and the change in confidence over the course of the 18 weeks was remarkable. Going into them he had never previously performed in front of anybody, but in the last few weeks he revealed to Eddy that he had started attending a local open mic night and planned to keep going in the future.
Callum’s Case Study
Callum is a teenage boy we worked with through the Nottinghamshire Youth Justice Service. He was not an offender but was deemed to be at risk of becoming one in the future and had difficulties at school and with academia. He had lost his father at a young age and subsequently grown up without a positive male influence in his life and lives with his grandparents who he has a very difficult relationship with. He entered the workshops as an aspiring rapper who had written lyrics but never really progressed the skill further than his bedroom.
From the get-go he was enthusiastic and excited for every session that he came to, and seemed to be blown away by the scope of possibilities that music offered him. He appeared to be in awe of how the programmes he used could enhance his performance and was hugely proud of everything he created. He put together 2 tracks from scratch throughout the project, often working outside of the sessions and squeezing every possible minute out of the workshops to develop his skills as much as possible.
His lyrics were really memorable to Music Facilitator Eddy and felt truly heartfelt and emotional, often dealing with the loss of his father and the difficulties of his home life. He was delighted to have had the opportunity to develop his skills and told Eddy how he bragged to his friends about the workshops making them jealous, often answering phone calls during the sessions to announce that he “couldn’t talk right now because he was in the studio”. He finished the programme with a real belief in his own abilities going forwards and convinced that he would become a professional musician, telling Eddy that “when I become famous I’m going to hire you to become my full-time producer” due to everything he had taught him throughout the project.