Whilst tucking into some good Nigerian nosh in Dalston, I was encouraged by a good friend to write a blog post advocating community music. I was quite surprised that the information I shared was brand new. So I have listed the impact community music has on society, why it’s not just a group of people playing music, writing songs and going home, oh, no! There’s loads more to it then that!
Community music (arts) projects are vital because they can include some of the following:
• engage with people and involve them deal with demanding and sometimes onerous issues such as discrimination, deprivation and inequality
• gives people who are often subject to social exclusion the opportunity to gain greater levels of self-esteem and seek paths to employment – the Respect mentoring project strives to help young people at risk of anti-social behaviour to reassess their life choices in a non-threatening way
• can help people celebrate achievements; the “Down Your Way” intergenerational project I am helping deliver is celebrating the regeneration of Castle Vale
• consult creatively with local people – creative ways of consulting with the community can engage excluded groups –
• non-threatening path to lifelong learning – engages people disenfranchised with education system
• raise the profile of an area – presents positive image of an area celebrating its uniqueness, community arts can be become good news stories
• develop community capacity – involvement of local people in organisation of community projects develops new skills such as project management and fundraising, which are transferable to other community initiatives
• stimulate cohesion amongst neighbourhoods – brings together group who may have expressed conflict to develop a project, develop skills and work toward a common aim
Nearly all of the projects I have delivered had addressed some of these issues and I feel really privileged to be able to work in a sector that has such a profound impact upon people’s lives.
Information mainly tweaked from Flying Start notes. Thanks Helen!