iCreate – a Youth Music Initiative Project

iCreate engaged 173 young people, aged 12-17 years, from 11 secondary schools in Glasgow and Inverclyde in 300 hours of music technology workshops after school.

The project aimed to improve access to high quality education in the creative use of music technology for young people in Scotland and to increase skills in music production applicable to all creative arts. The fund had three intended outcomes:

  • Young people engage in learning activities that develop music making skills or music-centred skills including sound engineering and record production
  • Young people build their confidence, self-esteem and develop positive behaviours
  • Young people progress onto further learning and/or personal development opportunities (not restricted to music).

Project partners

Software Training Scotland delivered the training in partnership with 11 secondary school music departments and the Opportunities for All Co-ordinator, Inverclyde Council who identified those participants who would benefit most. Guest speakers from the creative industries raised awareness of progression routes and career options in the industry. Several participants were referred on to the Scottish Music Centre’s Music Plus mentoring programme and West College Scotland provided a venue for the More Choices More Chances group from Inverclyde.

Innovative approaches

A number of innovative approaches were used to meet project outcomes effectively:

  • Partnerships with music industry professionals have provided progression routes for participants
  • The project is mobile and provides high quality equipment for use by young people in venues which are accessible and local to them
  • Participants completed a skills profile to reflect on the skills they gained
  • Social media was used to connect young people and staff

Development of creativity skills

This project not only encouraged learners to develop their creativity skills, but also allowed trainees to develop their skills in supporting young people to explore their own creativity.

The project supported development of the following creativity skills in participants:

Constructively inquisitive:

Young people quickly became interested and found they could learn from the work and processes of other individuals/groups within project. They found listening to other groups/schools work intriguing.

They listened to and learned from the artistic ideas of others.
Able to harness imagination:

They were required to have a vision of how recordings would develop.
Able to identify and solve problems:

Technical problems and artistic challenges were met and solved on a regular basis.

In addition, participants became:

  • Motivated and ambitious for change for the better, including in their own capabilities: young people developed the desire to improve skills in order to continually improve the output of their projects and sought to produce a higher standard.
  • Confident in the validity of their own viewpoint: producing work of a high standard and making a positive contribution built confidence in their own opinions particularly when followed by positive feedback from staff and peers.
  • Able to apply a creative process to other situations: the activity built technical creativity able to be applied across all creative arts and beyond.
  • Able to lead and work well with others, where appropriate: the project was highly collaborative with the lead role changing regularly depending on the current task.

Benefits for young people

72% of participants completed questionnaires at the end of this project, evidencing the following impacts:

  • 173 young people gained new skills in music technology and creativity
  • 4% have already gone on to further education in sound production
  • 89% reported an increase in their confidence and self esteem
  • 95% completed a recording / mixdown
  • 74% completed a skills profile
  • 3 trainees developed skills and experience of delivering creative activity to young people
  • 80% attendance rate
  • 96% said they felt their planning and decision-making skills had improved
  • 96% said their ability and confidence to work in a group improved
  • 100% said they thought the skills would be useful to them in the future
  • 2 tutors benefitted from professional development in Equality and Diversity in the Workplace Training and Special Educational Needs training

In addition, participants were encouraged to reflect on the skills they had developed. 72% have increased awareness of progression routes suitable to their needs.

Benefits for teachers

9 of the 11 teachers completed a report, which evidenced the following impacts:

  • Improved confidence in music performance, music technology and social skills
  • Improved behaviour and focus
  • Increased sound production skills

What we learned

As a result of this project, an informal partnership has developed with the Scottish Music Centre’s Music Plus mentoring programme, with young people being referred on to further develop industry skills and awareness.

The production of a body of work coming from a variety of schools, groups and areas had an inspirational effect on young people, with them able to compare and learn from others and showcase/be proud of their own work.

Other schools/groups that weren’t part of project in 2013 are proactively asking to be part of it.

Software Training Scotland are now working on a potential partnership with Inverclyde Trust for a music recording project for ex-offenders, as a result of this project.

Website: http://www.softwaretrainingscotland.co.uk/icreate_in_action.html

Sound recordings and photos: www.soundcloud/softwaretrainingscotland

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *