Category Archives: projects

St Hugh’s Youth Project, Anerley, August 2014

Funded with a grant from Affinity Sutton, Community Music in Action delivered a music project at St Hugh’s Community Centre in Anerley this August. Led by Aaron Duncan and Bonita Charles, the week long ‘summer school’ was for young people aged 8-13 years.

Over the course of the week the young people were to write and produce their own original song, as well have the chance to make beats and learn how to DJ.

They arrived on Monday morning seeming shy and reserved but after some ice breakers and musical games, they soon started to open up and relax. Together they came up with ‘Bravery’ as the theme to their song and split into groups to work on the lyrics.

1stMontage St Hughs 08-2014

By Wednesday they were ready to record their song and it was exciting to see it all coming together. Aaron showed the young people how to produce the song using the sequencing software Logic Pro. Throughout the week he also took the young people off into small groups to work on making beats and DJ’ing using his decks. This was all made into a CD that was given to each participant at the end of the week.

2ndMontage St Hughs 08-2014

On Friday morning, Bonita worked with the group on building confidence, voice projection and creating a stage presence. By the afternoon they were ready to perform their finished song to a small audience of family and friends.

Click below to listen to the song – We think it sounds fantastic!


  • to learn and develop skills in MC / lyric writing, sound engineering and producing
  • to engage young people in the Affinity Sutton housing estates in positive activities in their local area and promote community cohesion
  • to build confidence and foster self belief
  • to encourage working together as a team and building on individual strengths
  • to leave a legacy and for young people to become regular active users of the centre and attendees of the youth club after the project is over


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 programs.

Bonita ‘Bella’ Charles is a creative arts practitioner in London. She is also a singer / songwriter / MC.

Phoenix Centre, Bromley, May 2014

phoenix photo

In May this year Community Music in Action ran a project at the Phoenix Centre in Bromley, which caters for pre-school aged children with special educational needs.

Musician Lucy Shaw delivered the project, which were comprised of two main elements.

The first element was to deliver practical music sessions to the children. There were approximately eight children in each class, so in all the sessions reached a total of 40 children. The children concentrated well and many appeared to find the music relaxing and calming. Lucy introduced her double bass to the children, and played to them, as well as giving them the opportunity to have a go themselves. Children with physical difficulties were able to feel the vibrations of the bass as they placed their feet or hands on the instrument.

“The intensity of having a double bass in the room
playing to the kids was immeasurable.
The children responded to the sound and vibrations
and it had such a direct effect on them”

Lucy Shaw
Project Leader

The children honed many skills during the sessions including dancing, playing and moving in time to music, distinguishing between different volumes and tempos and recognising and responding to familiar tunes. In addition, they also used more general skills such as taking turns, concentration, and coordination.

“The children loved playing the instruments,
and having fun with the cuddly creatures and clicky sticks”

Sarah Richardson
CMIA Member and Project Volunteer

Lucy hopes that in the future there might be scope for another longer project, where a different instrument is introduced each week.

The second element to the project was to deliver a 2 hour CPD session to the staff members, to help build their skills and confidence in providing music activities. The staff were a little reluctant to perform at first in front of their colleagues, but this gradually improved throughout the session. Perhaps in the future, a half day or series of sessions would be more useful to get the best out of the staff. At the end of the session the staff were provided with a small booklet and specially recorded CD to use in the future with the children.

All in all, the project was deemed a great success by Lucy and the staff at the Phoenix Centre.

“What a wonderful charity CMIA are and thank you all
so much for putting your time and effort into doing this project.
It has been a heartfelt joy to go into the Phoenix centre and see the
children’s enjoyment and reaction to the music”

Lucy Shaw
Workshop Leader


  • Fresh ideas for music sessions in summer term and beyond
  • Develop confidence and skills of teachers to deliver music sessions
  • Reignite and re-energise teachers with inspirational ideas and lesson plans
  • Support children to engage with each other and adults through music
  • Support development of PSE, communication, physical development and self-awareness
  • Children to be able to interact and respond in their own way
  • Stimulation and relaxation through music
  • CD resource left behind which can link to sensory stimuli in future music sessions after project has ended


Lucy Shaw plays double bass and bass guitar, and enjoys an eclectic musical life playing and collaborating with a variety of musicians and composers across a range of genres. She specialises in creative improvisation and string arrangement, and also writes band arrangements and music.

Currently working with Glenn Tilbrook and the Fluffers, Oi Va Voi, The Rag And Bone Club, The Urban Soul Orchestra and Slovo, Lucy is also performing with the Hofesh Shechter Dance Company, devising and improvising in the live band.

Musician / workshop leader required

Community Music In Action are looking for a musician with experience as a workshop facilitator to lead an exciting new project, running music-based sessions for a community youth group in London SE20.

For further information and details regarding project dates, artist’s role / qualities required and fees, please click on the following link:

Artist brief – St Hugh’s 2014

Deadline for submission of CV and proposal : 5pm on Monday 12 May 2014.

Community Vision Project in Penge

Just before the Easter holidays, Community Music in Action‘s most recent project took place, over the course of six weeks. Held at Community Vision Children and Family Centre, the project consisted of a weekly music session for under 5’s and their parents led by professional musician and workshop leader, Barbara Cavanagh.

community vision 2014 no1

Barbara ran 2 x hour long sessions each week; one for babies and toddlers, and one for pre-school age children. Community Vision invited specific families who they thought would benefit most from the sessions.

The workshops incorporated a great mix of singing and rhymes, using both props and instruments, and Barbara played her ukelele and recorder too. The parents really got involved as well, which was nice to see and the sessions really captured the children’s attention.

community vision 2014 no2

In the final session, the older children loved having a turn ‘playing’ their favourite song on the ukulele, while the rest of the group joined in singing. Barbara also brought out a huge drum, which was very popular and they were all desperate to have a go, playing it loudly and then softly etc..

Volunteer Jo Morgan (who attended the final session) commented –

“The session used a variety of instruments and props,
and encouraged interaction between parent and child.
The children loved it when Barbara played a tune
on the recorder to wake the teddy bear up.
They were listening so intently you
could have heard a pin drop!”

community vision 2014 no3

Carers Bromley – new term – update

carers bromley spring term visit1 no1

On Monday 24th February we popped in to see Carers Bromley Choir, who are now in their second term of rehearsals. Community Music In Action and Carers Bromley are funding the project 50/50 for a further term and Cathy Davies of ‘Just Voices’ is continuing to lead the choir.

It was great to see all the same faces from last term along with some new members. Over the past few weeks Cathy and the choir have been brushing up on some of their old songs as well as adding some new songs to their repertoire. The choir are currently learning ‘California Dreaming’ and a cracking little number in which the Tenors, Altos and Sopranos get to have a bit of a sing off! All in all we were very impressed by how professional the choir sounded and looked. They are really growing in confidence and it is such a pleasure to see.

Furthermore, Carers Bromley Choir have been invited to perform at two events. On Thursday 13th March they will be performing at Community House in Bromley and on Saturday 12th July they will be taking part in the ‘Carefree Concert’ at St Johns Church, Beckenham. Watch this space for more details.

The Carers Bromley Choir project has and continues to be such a success. After conducting an evaluation of the first term we’ve had some fantastic feedback. Here are just a few of the carer’s comments:

“I like the informality and no one asks why if
we cannot attend. I just love it!”

“The choir is uplifting and fun. We laugh and enjoy ourselves”

“It’s great meeting like minded people who enjoy singing
and being able to forget our problems at home for a while”

“However worrying and frustrating things are
I know that Monday morning is Choir!”

Carers Bromley Choir rehearse every Monday morning at Bromley Common Baptist Church from 10am – 12 noon. New members are welcomed.

Musician / workshop leader required for upcoming project

Community Music In Action are looking for a musician and experienced workshop facilitator to lead an exciting new project, running a series of music sessions for under 5s and their parents at Community Vision Children and Family Centre in Penge, South East London.

For further information regarding project dates, artist’s role / qualities required and fees, please click on the following link:

Artist Brief

Deadline for submissions: Monday 03 February 2014

Carers Bromley Week 8 Report

Christmas is coming and the goose is getting fat! Carers Choir are working hard to perfect their own interpretations of well known Christmas carols. Check out their version of ‘We Wish You A Merry Christmas’.

The choir will be singing this and other festive tunes at their next performance:

Carers Bromley Christmas Gathering

Monday 16th December at 10.00am

Carers Bromley Head Quarters
2nd Floor, Caritas House
Tregony Road

carers bromley wk8 christmas