During the winter half term break this year, Soundmix held a Band Session. This was an opportunity for our members to attend a music workshop away from the usual location at the Refugee Council and enter a professional rehearsal complex called ‘Scream Studios’.
There, the young people were able to try out full sized acoustic drum kits, amplified guitars, keyboards and vocal microphones. We had greater facilities and space to work on song writing. A group of our dedicated and talented members fully took advantage of this and wrote a cracking song!
When we used this new song as part of the group session back at the Refugee Council, the full group of young people were super-engaged by it. Those whom were not at the Scream session quickly learnt the song and we all performed it together at our in house end of term performance.
Over the course of each term, every student attending the Soundmix sessions will work towards learning a set of songs. The songs are chosen to provide the right level of engagement and learning from the young people, and are used in our performances during the term.
There are three ways we generate songs:
1) Chosen by tutors
2) Chosen by students
3) Writing our own Soundmix songs!
Previous terms song choices have included bangers such as ‘See You Again’ by Wiz Khalifa and ‘Three Little Birds’ by Bob Marley.
At the start of this term, the tutors chose the tune ‘You’re all I need to get by’, as produced by Mark Ronson. The thinking behind this choice was:
– A contemporary sound with a catchy, appealing hook
– A clear, plain English chorus that can be sung by everyone
– A strong beat and chord progression to learn from.
What makes this song a particularly strong choice is that it samples the almost universally appealing sound of Motown along with original raps by African and American vocalists.
At the start of term, students are often hesitant to share their own song choices. Now at the mid-point of term, we had a great sharing of song choices within the group, spawning our second cover song of the term ‘Let her go’ by Passenger. We look forward to working on this in the second half of term, along with the creation of another Soundmix classic!
If you like what we do at Soundmix, we are looking for enthusiastic new people to join our board of trustees. Check our Join our Team page for all the details. It’s a voluntary role but very rewarding. Deadline for applications 18th May 2018.