All posts by Soundmix

Soundmix; a volunteers perspective

Soundmix have always welcomed support from volunteers, both on the project management side and in workshop support.

Our current volunteer, Tsai, had come up through the Soundmix project when there was a session running at his college in Croydon. Now, remotely from his halls of residence at University, he continues to engage with the project as a volunteer workshop facilitator. In his own words:

During my volunteering, I have taken the chance to take the lead at different stages. For example, I have led warm up activities, guitar teaching, produced musical stems using computer software and led one of the instrument demonstration activities with the guitar Tutor’s help.  I feel engaged during the sessions, even though everyone on Zoom is far away from each other. The skills and techniques the tutors have shared with me has been helpful.

Although the Zoom Soundmix sessions are different from the face-to-face sessions I had a few years ago, I am always grateful for the opportunity to be able to work with the Soundmix musicians. I enjoy my time with them a lot, and I definitely learn a lot from them, too.   The most valuable benefit I have gained from the experience of volunteering at Soundmix, is being able to create materials and develop connections with the tutors.

 

 

Working with the Refugee Council in lockdown

Our work here at Soundmix has always been linked closely with our fantastic partners the Refugee Council. Both organisations have undergone changes over the years but our relationship has remained consistent. This has been the case during lockdown, and the resilience shown is a key value that we hope filters down to our students too.

Joe Jakes is the Youth Development Project Coordinator in the Children’s Section of the Refugee Council and shared this message about our work:

‘Soundmix has been wonderful to work with since the lockdown.  Creating an online platform helped young people to adapt to technology, and gave them a sense of belonging and participation;… supported young people to maintain and develop their love for music and creativity;… offered a safe space for young people and helped them fight that growing sense of alienation and isolation during lockdown;… gave them a focus and made them happier by giving them music at their homes, increasing their general wellbeing and morale;…enhanced community connections and engaged kids from across the country.  Staff, volunteers and young people learned that we were all in this together, establishing a community spirit online against a common enemy.’

2021 Soundmix Sessions Continue…

The new year has not bought a change for the better with the pandemic. So it’s more important than ever that Soundmix are continuing to deliver weekly music workshops for young people who would otherwise struggle to find accessible, free music education.

This term’s cover song of choice is the Beatles’ iconic ‘All You Need is Love’. Our vocal tutor Angela Luzi will be in charge of crafting our young chorus into harmony over zoom in the coming weeks! Angie has lots of experience of working with the UASC community, including recent workshops with a girls group from Young Roots. Here is what Angie had to say about it:

The girls at young Roots have been a joy to work with. They have been very involved and open to learn new material in different languages. Always welcoming and joyous they have gained more confidence singing and enjoyed the time together exploring their voice.

Happy Holidays from all of us at Soundmix

From the project manager, tutors, trustees and volunteers at Soundmix; we wish you very happy holidays!

And best wishes no none more than the young people who attend our sessions. Throughout the year we have been offering out our musical instruments on loan to young people in London. This will allow them to continue accessing music making from home, and to develop their musical skills through attending Soundmix Zoom Sessions.

Just in time for the holiday season, we have delivered a full electronic drum kit to a young man in Croydon – he had already been learning drums for eight years in his home country, and now in his first winter in England he can continue to connect with and develop his passion!

Keeping in-touch, in-person! Part One

Whilst London’s easing of restrictions was brief this year, Soundmix took full advantage of the window of opportunity by accepting invitations to run in-person sessions by two organisations.

Firstly, the amazing charity Young Roots invited tutors JT and Robbie to run music sessions at their youth club in Croydon. Rhythm games, drumming and group beat creation took place across three sessions, safely socially distanced using inside and outside spaces at St Mary Magdalene with St Martin’s Church in Croydon.

Staff, tutors and participants all were learning to adapt to new ways of working – bigger spaces between chairs, breaks for wiping down instruments, use of face masks… Yet the enthusiasm of everyone to be learning and making music together again meant that even covid adaptations were met with joy and enthusiasm.

A great time was had by all. Thank you very much to Young Roots for making this happen. You can find out more about their dynamic youth work with refugees and asylum seekers here  – www.youngroots.org.uk

Soundmix Zoom’s On…!

Soundmix sessions have been continuing on zoom through the second lockdown and beyond. We are managing to reach music students from further afield this way, with recent workshops including young people from the North and South East Coast of England, as well as our base in Croydon.

We miss in-person sessions and getting stuck in creatively with our hands. We look forward to the day when we can write songs together in person again.

More Arts Award Success!

The pandemic has not stopped Soundmix engaging in music making with our young people, nor has it prevented them from attaining Arts Award Qualifications following our summer workshops!

We are very proud to announce that four Soundmix students have been awarded the Arts Award Bronze Certificate. This is a huge achievement for our young people, made even bigger by the additional challenges posed by remote attendance.

Congratulations to them all!

As part of their Arts Award project the students participated in musical learning, researched their music heroes, reviewed performances from other artists and even shared their own musical skills with one another!

Here is what the Arts Award Moderators has to say

The Young people had engaged in a good range of appropriate arts activities. The portfolios were easy to navigate and covered all aspects of the Bronze Award. Good use was made of photographs to enliven the portfolios.

Black lives matter

The Trustees and staff of Soundmix want to send out a message of support to the Black community. We stand proudly in solidarity with all those who face racial discrimination and are in full support of the Black Lives Matter movement. Although we are a small charity our commitment to equality is at the heart of our work and we will continue to make sure that all ethnically diverse voices are heard. We are actively discussing how we address anti-racism in our work and are committed to ensuring this conversation and positive action remains a priority until social injustice of this and all kind are no longer an issue within society. 

Covid-19 update

A message to our participants, partners & supporters

Firstly, we hope you are all safe and well, and that you found a way to handle the sudden changes and tests Covid-19 threw at us all.

As an organisation that delivers its work face-to-face, the Coronavirus posed an immediate threat to the continuation of Soundmix’s normal operations, and presented us with the challenge of finding new ways through which to deliver our valuable music education, enrichment and wellbeing support services to our young client group.

Through the dedication, resourcefulness and enthusiasm of Soundmix’s tutors, staff and Board, we were able to successfully adapt to the unexpected and abrupt changes imposed on us, by transferring delivery of our business activities and music workshops online, developing educational videos allowing unlimited around the clock access, and delivering instruments to participants for home use (where requested); all tailored to communicate with and support the needs of a client group with limited and varying levels of English language skills.

This move to a largely digital presence helped to minimise the impact of the virus on our activities and those we engage with – namely, the young people who rely on Soundmix to provide a safe space where they can express themselves, gain confidence in their learning, abilities and achievements, and have fun connecting with others – at the most crucial and needed of times.

Positively, the Coronavirus pandemic has given us the opportunity to review and reconsider how we might shape and deliver our services in the future, in a way that will allow us to extend our reach and increase our impact; improve our work and ways of working; and broaden our connections, networks and partnerships.

Turning to the future, we very much look forward to being able to draw on the unexpected insight gained during this most unusual of times, and keeping you informed of our progress as we evolve as an organisation.

To you all – stay safe, well and connected.

The Soundmix Team