Click on this link to see the tutors sending a message to their students after lockdown started. Now they are meeting regularly online and making music together.
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
Since the lockdown, Soundmix tutors have been working with Sasha, our Project Manager, to develop ways to reach our students and give them valid musical experiences, online, via video or phone. More details to follow. In the meantime we want to say a big thank you to Children in Need for continuing their funding throughout this crisis.
We are recruiting new trustees to take Soundmix into the future. See the Join our Team page for all details.
Deadline 14th February 2020 – Valentine’s Day.
The end of 2019 saw a flurry of activity as our tutors and clients joined in local and London-wide musical events. As many of our current clients are newly arrived in the UK, lead very unstable lives and have very limited English, it is not always easy to organise suitable extra-curricular musical activities for them. But we have some exciting plans for 2020 and will report on them as and when they happen.
In November, Soundmix took part in the Croydon Youth Takeover – a day of music workshops and performances by and for young people held at Fairfield Halls, Croydon. The event offered the young participants an opportunity to perform before a live, public audience – improving their performance skills and confidence. Two of the regular workshop participants along with two tutors, performed three pieces in the foyer area. The Soundmix performances were well received, particularly a piece sung in native tongue by a newly-arrived young man which was described as ‘mesmerising’ and received a lot of praise from the audience.
Also in November, two Soundmix clients along with Soundmix staff attended Jazz Voices, the opening gala event of the London Jazz Festival at the Southbank Centre. The concert showcased a line-up of world-renowned singers and vocal collectives alongside a grand 42-piece jazz orchestra, performing timeless classics. The event was part of the festival organiser’s (Serious) New Audience Programme, which offers subsidised tickets to school and community groups. It was a fantastic opportunity for our clients to experience and be inspired by top-class performers.
(We have been unable to publish photos of our clients at these events for safeguarding reasons. You’ll just have to imagine the mesmerising singer!)
Starting in the Summer Term 2019, our music tutor James Taylor has been getting students tapping on-beat. These new workshops are designed to give young people who attend the Refugee Council drop-in sessions an insight into musical rhythm and timing and learning key drum kit skills which they can then take with them into the Soundmix main group sessions, their schools, colleagues or out into the Community.
We are very proud to announce that four Soundmix students have been awarded the Arts Award Bronze. These are the first Soundmix students to enter for this award and it is a huge achievement as it is very difficult for our students to attend sessions regularly.
Congratulations to them all!
As part of their Arts Award project, the students reviewed a musical performance. This is one students critique of songs from the Soundmix performance in Croydon Town Centre over the summer.
“I enjoyed the song ‘Top of my charts’. Her voice was amazing. It’s good that we wrote the song “Under Green Trees”. I like the drums. Some of the performers should enjoy the song more.”
The young people of Soundmix and their tutors performed at this Summers Croydon Live Music and Arts Street Fest on 28th July.
It was the second edition of this local festival, and the stage was set beautifully for the young people of Soundmix to perform first on the bill. They played a set of songs which had been worked on during the summer term, and went down a storm to a home crowd on Croydon High Street!
A number of our students attended the National Orchestra For All Summer Concerts over the weekend of 28th August. They joined with over 100 other young people in music making on a four day trip to Leeds. Here are collages that the young people produced as part of a Soundmix session reviewing their experiences.