As for everyone in the UK, the impact of Covid-19 and the resulting lockdown has been significant for us. While our normal methods of project delivery – involving working closely with participants in small groups – are ‘on pause’ for now, we have been working hard to develop new ways of working which will allow us to continue to meet the needs of prisoners, former prisoners and young people in challenging circumstances, and to continue to utilise the skills of our exceptional team of musicians.
- We have adapted our Music in Prisons intensive model into a remote collaborative song-writing project; prisoners will produce lyrics, which our project team musicians will turn into fully formed songs. As usual, the songs will be recorded and CDs created to share with prisoners’ friends & family
- We have developed a new ‘music appreciation’ project, which will provide prisoners with a series of playlists and worksheets curated by our musicians, exploring a range of musical genres and helping to develop the ‘musical ears’ of participants for when usual delivery methods can resume
In the community:
- We have adapted our creative projects model for former prisoners and young people in challenging circumstances for online delivery
- We have developed new opportunities for young people who have completed Making Tracks to earn Silver Arts Award qualifications
- We have created an e-newsletter to engage with present & past participants, including links to other free online creative opportunities (sign-up here)
We’re very fortunate to be one of the organisations to receive Emergency Response Funds from Arts Council England to help with this process of adapting delivery.
Speaking about adapting our project delivery methods, Artistic Director Sara Lee said:
“This whole process has been dependent on strong relationships with prison staff, YOT managers, funders and our musicians, all of whom had to agree it was worth a go. We know it won’t feel exactly the same – but in the situation we’re all currently in, we wanted to continue to engage people in something creative, which their families will get to hear, and to broaden their musical horizons in preparation for when we can start working in our usual ways again. As the world will look quite different for months and years to come, trying something new felt to be the only way forward.”
To keep ourselves cheerful, our staff & musicians are choosing some of our favourite tracks from past projects to share on social media, compiled in the playlist below. Have a listen!