This was a project led by music therapist and producer Jon Hall from Outsider Music (OM) together with Dr Paul Abeles, Consultant Clinical Psychologist, funded by RMCH charities. It delivered a platform for young people to develop and showcase (publicly and/or privately) their creative and positive ‘selves’; and to explore if and how these life experiences and benefits lay foundation for engagement and improvement in other important life spheres, not least their mental health & wellbeing. The project offered a unique blend of music which encourages a platform for ‘healing’, through people initiating, producing and showcasing creative expression. In doing so, the unique ‘creative-output’ focussed approach looks to build core life skills and competencies, such as self-confidence and communication, and (re)establishes identity and agency.
The project was available and offered to all young people resident on Galaxy Ward in September 2019 and then again in the Summer of 2020. The programme was carefully developed and planned with the staff at Galaxy Ward to ensure the programme was integrated into established routines es and the ward’s ‘ways of working’. The hope was to ensure the benefits of individual learning and ‘healing’ processes which stems from a unique process (from initial improvisation through to a final celebration event/output) which can be built on and shared with the wider services and practitioners working with the young people at Galaxy House.
The projects ran over 6-7 weeks offering either 1:1 and /or group sessions. As the project progressed, the young people worked towards a final event which was be co–developed and co–designed with all participants. The final performance events also looked to engage the wider community of the ward, inviting friends and family, as well as wider stakeholders and interested parties linked with the Trust. Through a flexible resource-oriented approach, the music therapist worked with all young people in the most appropriate way.
– Listening & talking about music to gain a deeper understanding of musical preference
– Instrumental and vocal improvisation
– Song-writing, using either acoustic instruments or music technology
– Creative lyric writing promoting reflection
– Recording client music tracks, includes original songs, drumming, instruments, vocals, raps, poetry, spoken word and personal narratives
– Creating a finished product CD and videos
– Live performance preparation, rehearsals
– Group rehearsals and live performance
– Working with staff and organisation participation.
The projects have helped make a case for the provision of formal Music Therapy on Galaxy House, and this has been offered since January 2019. The second project saw an interaction between the ongoing Music Therapy and the Music at Galaxy House project which proved to be mutually reciprocal. It is hoped to run another RMCH Charities funded “Music at Galaxy House” project again later on in 2021.