Back in the summer of 2014, Community Music In Action, delivered a project working with the users of a charity called Living Well.
Living Well is a charity started in a Penge church which partners with a number of organisations to provide help and support to local vulnerable people. Partners include Bromley Drug and Alcohol Service (BDAS), Bromley Police Community Support and Bromley Mind.
It provides a food bank three times a week, a hot meal with community activities on Fridays and an art therapy group on Mondays as well as friendship and support through volunteers who form a community together with service users.
The volunteers at Living Well saw that some of the users of their service had various musical skills / interests and there had been many occasions where spontaneous music making and / or singing has taken place. They recognised that what was needed was an facilitator to come and work with them to provide a structure / support to work within and help to give focus and encouragement to members lacking in confidence.
The workshop leader, Gary Day was chosen to facilitate a series of informal/flexible music sessions over a period of six weeks.
During these sessions Gary worked closely with a group of 10-15 people, and together they came up with which songs they would like to learn. Gary brought along a variety of equipment each week including microphones, guitars and amps, and keyboards. They were also taught how to make music using an ipad, which proved very popular! The sessions were pretty informal and Gary gave them a certain amount of autonomy as to what they wanted to do. The aim is that the community will carry on with these music sessions after Gary leaves.
“I noticed on a few different occasions that when some people were singing(improvising) they really expressed
the feelings they had during that day/moment which
seemed quite therapeutic for the singers!”
- identify musical skills and abilities
- facilitate music by providing lyric sheets and resources and support needed i.e. lyrics/chord charts, instrument coaching etc…
- identify musical leaders to lead the sessions after Gary leaves
- Provide support to people who may wish to write their own original material
- organise instrument swapping sessions for people to experience and try different instruments
- introduce music software using Ipads.
“I helped my friend overcome her shyness as we sang together”
Gary Day has been working in the field of accessible, inclusive music making and education since 2001, providing training and support in assistive music technology for teachers and teaching staff, musicians, music therapists, youth workers and freelance artists.
He works directly in the delivery of music workshops to all age groups within different settings, including FE colleges, universities, youth centres, hospitals, private homes and care homes.
Additionally, he also provide training and support in using the Sounds of Intent musical framework and delivers Arts Awards and ‘Introduction To Music’ APT-ED modules through Drake Music and Garden of Music.
Gary also writes, produces and performs his own music.