30 Jun 2014

My Experience of the Young Music Leaders Programme

It’s safe to say that the Young Music Leader’s project has been a huge success in my opinion! I’ve had such a great time participating in a large number of events that have been thrown my way since way back in the Autumn Term of 2013, and I’ll be really sad once I’ve completed my Gold Arts Award and it’s all over! There has been such a fantastic and varied programme of events and workshops to participate in – something for everyone! I’ve personally been involved with Stage Management at the RipShock for two years running, have experienced a DJ-ing workshop, something both myself and my friends will say is something I’m not used to, being primarily a classical performer. I’ve also discovered a new genre of music by having the chance to take part in a Gamelan Workshop at York University – something which really opened my eyes to music culturally.

I initially took up the Music Leader’s Project without any knowledge whatsoever of Music Technology and Events Management, and I therefore felt incredibly nervous, like I was going to be out of my depth. The brilliant thing is that the sessions are aimed at any and every ability level, and everyone gets the chance to have a go with no pressure to get things right for a long time. I’ve been on several different recording days, one at Hope and Social’s Recording Studio ‘The Crypt’ which was incredible, and I’m gradually beginning to feel confident using recording software and microphone equipment correctly. It’s all a learning process!
I’ve also been on a residential course with about 20 other young music leaders to help with our Gold Arts Awards, which had a varied mixture of seminars and mixing/recording sessions. The most pressure intensive but ultimately rewarding part of the project, was being part of the sound crew for the prestigious Harrogate Amp Awards. In small groups of two or three, we were in charge of mixing the amplification of two live bands each during the competition.

The best thing I’ve found is that whilst being offered all these intensely cool opportunities and developing a completely new skillset, I’ve made some great new friends and fantastic contacts. I have almost finished my Gold Arts Award, where I’m directing a Ukulele Project for a Local Primary thanks to funding to buy ukuleles from organisations like NYMAZ and Connecting Youth Culture. And I have had so many new experiences which will set me up in a solid music career for life!

What’s so brilliant about projects like this is that it’s all completely free! I remember thinking at the beginning of the programme “There must be some kind of catch…” but there isn’t! I whole heartedly recommend that children and young people from all backgrounds come together and grasp the countless opportunities that NYMAZ and Partners of NYMAZ are offering, because they do quite honestly have the power to shape your life, whilst allowing you to have an immense amount of fun along the way!

Tara Hill, June 2014

(Photograph by Rachel Wilkinson)

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