Achieve, Change and Engagement (ACE) work with young people with mental health and emotional issues who have been referred to them by schools, G.Ps and other agencies. We run one-on-one and group work to help participants build their confidence, self-esteem and resilience in a supportive and safe environment.
Recently, we had the opportunity to work with More Music to enable some of the young people attending the Morecambe group (funded by LCC Targeted Youth Support) to express their feelings and views via music.
The group of ten young people, mainly comprised of girls aged 14-18, had liked a song that had been created on an earlier More Music project, and wanted to create their own anthem. Our worker Rehana Hassan worked alongside More Music musicians Leroy Lupton and Sam Middleton to enable this to happen.
Some young people could play but everyone had a chance to experiment with guitars, bass, drums and keyboards. After ten sessions, the young people had written and recorded a song called ‘Just Breathe, Step Back’ and also completed five Discover Arts Awards certificates. The AA process was as ever a struggle for the musicians as they had to make time for the reflection as well as the musicmaking
ACE young people’s comments:
“I feel more confident in a way which I can write a song and it will turn out good. Before I had no confidence to do it at all.”
“I think I do feel slightly more confident and I think it’s because I have sung with other people so it has makes me more open to other people and the way they sing”
“I know how to sing in front of other people now”
Lengthy discussion about social anxiety led to the creation of some beautiful lyrics for our song with each participant adding something unique and individual. The finished recording now serves as a reminder for each person in the group of what to do when they feel anxious, upset or nervous. Everyone had lots of fun recording in the studio and the finished CD is something they all are very proud of.
ACE youth worker Rehana Hassan said “The group always enjoyed the singing at the beginning and sometimes the end of the session. The activities meant that they were being challenged to try new things, which they always embraced. Some of the young people found the musical element very calming. Everyone had a role to play which made all feel valued. Their confidence and self worth has increased so much. Thank you to the lovely staff who worked so hard and tirelessly to make this project such a brilliant success.”
You can hear the completed track here: