St. Hugh’s Youth Project, Anerley, August 2015

Following the success of last year’s project, Community Music in Action returned to St Hugh’s Community Centre in Anerley, to deliver a second music project.

Funded with a grant from Affinity Sutton, the 4 day ‘summer workshop’ for young people aged 8-13 years was led by musician, Aaron Duncan. Over the course of the week, Aaron guided the young people through the process of writing, producing and recording their own original song.

Monday morning saw 12 kids arrive feeling somewhat apprehensive. In amongst the group it was great to see some familiar faces from last year and this helped everyone bond and feel at ease. After some musical games, Aaron kicked off a brainstorming session about global issues. The subject of ‘War’ came through strongly and all agreed this would be a great theme for the song. The kids got straight to work on lyric writing and by the end of the day had the basis of a really inspiring song.



“This course is great, instead of laying in bed or playing my Xbox
I’m learning some really cool stuff and making friends”

Workshop Attendee

Over the next two days, Aaron helped the group fine tune their lyrics and structure the song, agree vocalists and add the lyrics to melodies and then a sound track. Everyone in the group had a part either singing or rapping and with encouragement and support from Aaron, they all became more comfortable in delivering their lyrics with confidence. It was great to see some real talent shining through.

“I usually feel so shy singing in front of people but each day
I come to this course I feel more and more confident”

“Workshop Attendee

The kids practised their parts really hard and by Thursday were ready to record their vocals. An excited bunch entered the recording studio at Anerley Town Hall and emerged smiling, proudly clutching a copy of their own original song.

We also were delighted with what they achieved; please listen here to their track “War Stories”….

Project Objectives

  • provide a stimulating and engaging summer activity for local young people
  • give young people the opportunity to experience some of the processes involved in writing, recording and producing music
  • through music, help young people to develop their self-confidence and ability to express themselves
  • build cohesion among the young people

Project Leader

Aaron Duncan is a skilled artist practitioner with a proven track record in providing creative workshops and short courses for young people in and around London. He currently coordinates a youth recording studio in Anerley Town Hall called The Mixtape Project, where he provides drop-in style recording sessions, artist development courses and educational music programmes.

This is the first of four music projects that CMIA are funding this summer. Watch this space for more information.

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