2018-2019 - Thank You For The Music!

May 1, 2019

As we come to the end of another amazing year of 'Music Makes Me Happy' at WILD Young Parents Project, I thought I’d reflect on some of the distance we have traveled as an organisation and as a Youth Music project. This year we have facilitated some incredible aspects to our project, such as Taiko Drumming, song writing, music production and working with a sound artist on a ‘Life Echo’ memory project. We have also been busy developing our Early Years work by integrating more Makaton into our practice and rolling out our ‘You Can Ukulele’ programme across Cornwall. As a charity we were honoured in 2018 to be the Overall Winner at the GSK Charity Awards, in recognition of our work with young parent families in Cornwall.

 

Over the past few years we have been putting a lot of emphasis on encouraging the young parents we work with to engage with their children using music from a very young age. By up-skilling the young parents in Makaton sing and sign, ukulele and educating them on child development we have seen a considerable difference in how the children interact with their parents in group and we believe it is having a significant positive impact on parent and child attachment. Rather than a child getting two hours of quality EY music with a practitioner once a week, we are trying to ensure that those children are accessing quality music time at home 7 days a week.

 

 

"Rather than a child getting two hours of quality EY music with a practitioner once a week, we are trying to ensure that those children are accessing quality music time at home 7 days a week"
 
 

We have also been lucky enough this year to develop our work with young dads. Historically this has been a hard demographic to engage but by facilitating unique and exciting activities we have been able to engage more dads than ever. The young dads often find it hard to bond with their children and lack the confidence/skills to make music with them at home. By allowing the young dads to practice in a safe and non-judgmental environment they have reported an improvement in the time they spend with their children and feel happy to spend more quality time singing and signing with them.

 

 

"The young dads often find it hard to bond with their children and lack the confidence/skills to make music with them at home. By allowing the young dads to practice in a safe and non-judgmental environment they have reported an improvement in the time they spend with their children and feel happy to spend more quality time singing and signing with them.
 

In 2018, we were delighted to be awarded additional funding by the Department for Women and Equalities to celebrate the centenary of the women’s vote. We decided to host an event on International Women’s Day, celebrating inspirational women, democracy and encouraging engagement with politics. As part of the event, we were lucky enough to be able to access some Taiko Drums from the Education Hub to practice for an empowering performance by the young mums currently in our service. For 3 months prior to the event, our music project workers Matthew Thomason and Jo Alleyne attended around 30 WILD groups, teaching each group of young mums different rhythms on the drums. At the event, the young mums came together for the first time as a large ensemble and performed an inspiring (and incredibly loud) improvisation piece using the various beats they had learned at group. The event was a great success which received coverage from BBC Spotlight as well as BBC Radio Cornwall, but more importantly it was an opportunity for the children to see their mothers doing something very powerful and inspiring.

 

 

We are currently making plans on how to make next year even more exciting and inclusive for our young parents and children and we hope you have enjoyed reading about our experiences this year!

 

Matthew Thomason

 

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