Aimhigher - Funky Grooves & Jazzy Beats
Working in partnership with Aimhigher North Yorkshire, NCEM ran a series of music-based projects for Key Stage 4 music and non-music students from Scarborough, the North Yorkshire Coast, Selby, Skipton and the City of York. The aim of the scheme was to widen participation in higher education by raising the aspirations and developing the abilities of young people from under-represented groups.
The Funky Grooves and Jazzy Beats Project (2006 - 2008) was led by jazz trombonist Dennis Rollins and two music students from the University of York - Phil Merriman and Raphael Clarkson. These jazz improvisation workshops which were attended by students from Selby High School, Barlby High School and Brayton College in Selby; Graham School, Pindar School, and Raincliffe School in Scarborough; Upper Wharfedale School in Skipton, South Craven School in Keighley; Whitby Community College, and All Saints RC Secondary School in York.
Each workshop took place at the National Centre for Early Music over the course of four hours when the young people created an improvisational piece and performed it at the end of the day. The workshops also included a talk on Higher Education given by music students from the University of York who gave the participants an insight into their experiences of higher education while Dennis talked about his experiences of what it was like to work as a professional musician. The young people who took part were really excited about the opportunity of working with a professional musician.
Alongside raising awareness about Higher Education, the workshop also contributed to the development of musical and general life skills. The development of social skills was evident from the way in which the young people integrated with others from different schools and worked together as a team to create the final performance in only four hours. In all of the workshops, there were young people who were very timid at the beginning of the workshop but were volunteering to play solo in the final performance demonstrating increased confidence. These participants indicated that they were surprised by what they could achieve after 'just having a go' and this is an experience which we hope they will remember and draw on in situations throughout their adult life.
Listen to Audio from Workshop