staff share their musical talent with the residents

Three musically-minded reach employees have come together to pilot a music workshop for reach clients, with the first one kicking off in Exchange House this week.

Graham Noone, Rohan Bishop and Joe Coote are band members in their spare time and are hoping to make the workshop a regular occurrence.

As well as their practical experience, Joe and Rohan can draw on their knowledge developed whilst graduates studying Creative Sound and Music and in particular Rohan’s topic for his dissertation ‘therapeutic uses of music and it’s wider benefit to communities’.

The workshop is intended to break down any barriers that people may face learning music, as it is an activity that can potentially benefit everyone. There are many great music creation apps available for tablets that enable the user to participate without any prior musical knowledge.

Open to all reach residents the workshops include learning to play both acoustic and electric guitars, bass, drums, keyboard and a variety of percussion instruments, most notably the coconut shell ! If sufficient interest is shown the workshop will evolve to include the making of a basic instrument.

Graham Noone, reach support worker said: ‘It is a fantastic opportunity for residents to come along and enjoy the feel-good factor associated with music, as well as tackling the social exclusion many residents sometimes feel.”

Four very enthusiastic residents attended the first initial taster session and were really impressed. Andrew, Adam, Paul and Clare all actively participated in the session, with some showing a real flair; picking up how to play on the off-beat at the drop of a hat !

Paul’s carer Stuart Ellis said ‘as soon as Paul saw the advert for the music workshop, he was excited about coming. He is so enthusiastic, once a month is probably not enough!’

Graham, Rohan and Joe hope that participation in the workshop will improve the resident’s confidence and highlight the benefit of working and playing together in a group.

Talking about the next session, Rohan Bishop said “I have arranged another session for the end of April for around 5 participants. Our aim is to extend these workshops into groups such as PHAB club and gateway club, helping to form a great local network of musical collaboration. We are also volunteering with Solas and planning similar groups”.

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Reach Support