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New Tricks Stories


IMG_1791Since our first New Tricks Older Adult music sessions took place in July 2016, we have seen a huge range of inspiring and fantastic stories begin to emerge from both participants and our Music Facilitators. These track everything from huge musical development and growth in confidence, to notable health and well-being benefits alongside social progression.

We didn’t want to keep them all to ourselves though, so with this in mind we are starting a new series, our New Tricks stories! In these blogs we will be sharing some of our favourite journeys and experiences within the project, as well as photos, videos and recordings to hopefully bring them to life. Enjoy!


Terry O’Toole Theatre

This participant has been an integral member of The Terry O’Toole Theatre Rhythm and Blues group in the year since it began. He is a Bass player and had suffered a stroke twelve years ago that had massively impacted his short term memory, also causing him to be a slow speaker which affected his confidence in public.

Soon after joining the group he commented many times on how much he was progressing and that he was really enjoying the advice and help he was receiving not only from Jonny (soundLINCS Music Facilitator) but the other members of the group. He began to practice regularly at home and said that the structure and techniques of rehearsal helped greatly with his memory.

With an increase in his confidence and feeling like a major part of the group, he made the suggestion that they should learn the song Puppy Love, with himself on lead vocals, something he had never previously shown an interest in doing. He explained that the song was of special significance between him and his wife and he wanted to record them performing it as an Anniversary present for her. The group were all delighted to take part in this and the video can be seen here.


Trinity Arts Centre, Gainsborough

17035736_1295206130587143_812956957_o22This participant was thinking of selling her saxophone when she went along to her first New Tricks Taster Session in Gainsborough, having barely had the opportunity or confidence to play it since purchasing it a few years before.

She immediately fed back that she was finding the sessions “marvellous” and that they had “rejuvenated her enthusiasm to get out to play with others.” She suffered from quite severe anxiety when it came to performing and putting herself out there, saying in her own words that she “had convinced myself that an overweight, never been the pretty one, over 50’s female, would never get taken seriously”.

The sessions really fired up her pro-activity and desire to network with other budding musicians, whilst taking part in jam sessions convinced her that she would be welcomed in by like-minded people, regardless of her experience. With this in mind she decided to look on the website Join My Band, and against all her expectations decided to apply to become the lead singer of several bands in the Gainsborough area.

She attended an audition and within a fortnight found herself leading a gig at a local venue. She says she has since had the confidence to find ways to work saxophone into performances as well as vocals, and credits New Tricks and soundLINCS’ Music Facilitator Jonny as providing a vital springboard for her self-belief.


New Tricks is soundLINCS’ Older Adults Music Service across Lincolnshire, supported by funding from Arts Council England and the Postcode Community Trust.

New Tricks is an exciting and inclusive programme, facilitated by soundLINCS to establish and sustain music-making groups across the county. Having already run in almost two dozen locations, please visit our dedicated New Tricks page here to find your nearest group and discover ways that you can get involved.

2 Responses to New Tricks Stories

  1. heather Harker says:

    These are fabulous examples of the things you do. Well done to all at soundLINCS