Tag Archives: young carers

Carers Bromley (Young Carers), Bromley, 2016

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Early in August, Community Music In Action invited two artists, Sarah Weiler, a ukulele singer/songwriter and Rob Grundel, a multi instrumental musician who plays in a Hip hop band called Unexpected Guests, to meet some young carers from Carers Bromley for two days of music making.

On Thursday 4 August, seventeen young people aged 8–10 years attended the first ‘Song in a Day’ workshop. The following day comprised of twelve of the older age group (12 -18 years).

Using a mixture of ukuleles, piano, a digital beat maker and singing, Sarah, Rob and the young people spent the mornings playing games, learning the ukulele and getting to know each other by playing a few songs together.

“It was great to watch two groups of children,  most who had never met before,
have an opportunity to work together, encourage and learn from each other and produce a small piece of art that was authentic and true to them.”

Rob Grundel, Workshop Leader

By the afternoon the young carers were all in full creative mode writing lyrics and putting them to music.
It was great to see how quickly everyone picked up the chords and
strumming together, although there were some sore fingers by the end of the day! The musicality achieved in such a short time was fantastic.

At lunchtime, new friendships were forming as the young people sat in the sunshine and got to know each other and by the end of both days they were able to deliver whole songs performed with pride.

“At the end of each session we had participants share one thing
they liked that someone else did. It gave a huge amount of confidence to
those participants who had not been sure about their own
contribution to have it validated by their peers”

Rob Grundel, Workshop leader

As the youngsters left at the end of the day they were talking happily to their families about what they had been doing. It was great to see young people with very responsible roles at home enjoying themselves and having some well earned ‘me time’.

Q&A with Sarah Weiler

How do you think the beneficiaries for the project responded to the activities? Can you share any moments that stand out for you?

Really positive on both days. On the first day everyone participated the whole time and the staff were commenting how well the children were all getting on. They were volunteering to do solos and write raps and we could see them grow in confidence over the day. We ran a gratitude circle at the end and pupils had to say something they liked about another group member – this was a real confidence boost for them eg. One girl said: “I had no idea people liked my playing that much.”

On the second day the young people responded really well to writing their own song and they were buzzing with ideas. Three girls in particular stood out because they led the whole rehearsal: delegating parts to different performers and suggesting ways everyone could be involved.
One of the main outcomes is that everyone got to shine doing something they loved, whether that was singing, song-writing, leading or rapping. We created a safe atmosphere for everyone to take part.

Has this project had an impact on your own personal or professional ways of working?

It was great to have a whole day to run the workshop and see what could evolve. Most workshops I’ve run recently have been for half a day or over a series of weeks. It’s amazing what can be achieved if you have them for a whole day. I will definitely get more groups to write their own songs (rather than re-write lyrics) as I have seen that it’s definitely possible!

Project Aims

  • to provide musical activities for Young Carers at Carers Bromley during the summer holidays that young people are enthusiastic about and enjoy being a part of
  • to provide a time of respite for the Young Carers and allow them to socialise with other young carers, and build friendships through learning a skill and making music together
  • to inspire young people and enable them to express themselves
  • to encourage the enjoyment of making music as a group, and have fun
  • to learn a new skill and improve rhythm techniques, learning from a professional
  • to include everyone and make activities inclusive to all participants
  • to document the project through film / photos
  • to encourage collaboration, community spirit and a sense of achievement

“A moment of the project that stood out for me was watching the 8-12 year olds as they were learning Titanium by Sia on the ukulele,  singing along without any
self-consciousness and creating a beautiful sound’

Rob Grundel, Workshop Leader

Project Leaders

Sarah Weiler has an eclectic set of skills which include teacher, coach, workshop facilitator, trainer, stand-up comedian, songwriter, musician and events organiser. She is passionate about helping people reconnect with their inner child and enjoy life a little more!

Rob Grundel is a software designer, musician, writer and improviser and the founder of Somekind, a London-based story consultancy. He has over 10 years’ experience in the computing industry and more than 20 in music and writing. He performs regularly with Unexpected Guests and Abandoman.

Young Carers, Bromley, August 2014

Following the success of last summer, Community Music In Action revisited the young people at Carers Bromley for two days back in August for a brand new project.

We teamed up with ‘Inspire-works’, whose facilitator Catherine Ring delivered samba drumming to the young people, and together they created enough rhythmic energy to get the whole room grooving in time to the latin beat.

The deep pounding surdo drums with the syncopated overlayered sounds comprised of an assortment of percussive instruments, created an amazing carnival sound that transported the participants to Rio de Janeiro!

Over the course of the two days they were taught a traditional piece of Brazilian samba batucada, learnt the roles of the different instruments and played a variety of patterns, breaks and rhythmic responses in an ensemble.


  • To provide samba drumming for young carers during the summer holidays that young people are enthusiastic about and enjoy being part of.
  • To provide a time of respite for young carers and allow them to socialise with other young carers, and build friendships through making music together.
  • To inspire young people and enable them to express themselves.
  • To include everyone and make activities accessible to all participants.
  • To document the project through film/photos.
  • To encourage collaboration, community spirit and a sense of achievement.

“Catherine was very friendly and capable. She fully engaged
all the young people and their evaluations
of the project were very positive”

Carers Bromley


Catherine is a freelance percussionist, based in London. Her experience ranges from classical orchestral percussion to Brazilian music and hand percussion. Some of her drum kit experience includes an on-stage role in Clod Ensemble’s “An Anatomie” at Sadler’s Wells Theatre, London. She has worked with artists such as Dionne Warwick and Imogen Heap, as well as having vast experience in the classical music world.

A strong interest in the music of Brazil led Catherine to gain a Winston Churchill Travelling Fellowship. This permitted her to travel to Rio de Janeiro and Salvador to conduct research into samba music and dance and it’s effect on children and the community. Since then, she returned to Brazil twice more and performed alongside Monobloco and Sargento Pimenta in some of Rio de Janeiro’s most prestigious venues. This year, she made her Notting Hill Carnival debut playing Maracatu with Mariana Pinho and the Yamuna Yemanja project.

Catherine is an enthusiastic teacher and collaborator. She regularly delivers samba, West African drumming and other percussion workshops both privately and through Inspire-Works. Alongside her teaching at Eltham College and with Southwark Music Service, she has been involved in LSO Discovery work, Wigmore Hall education, LPO Funharmonics and ETO education department.

Catherine worked with 4 schools in West London earlier this year to prepare them for a Guinness World Record attempt. Alongside a further 23 schools, they managed to break the record for the World’s Largest Samba Band in March 2014.


Inspire-works was devised by its two core members, Mike and Jacqui Simpson a professional musician/teacher and a theatre director/teacher of dance & drama respectively, who studied and researched Balinese arts whilst living on the island. They call upon the expertise, knowledge and practical approach of additional facilitators who may be used as workshop leaders or assistants.

Inspire-works work with over 60,000 children and young adults in over 500 schools throughout southeast England each academic year.