Musinc provides musical engagement to all ages and abilities and focuses on bringing musical inclusion to the Tees Valley.
Musinc is based at Middlesbrough Town Hall and funded by Arts Council England and the National Foundation for Youth Music. It works with young people aged 6-18, or up to 25 years if they have a SEN support plan or identify as disabled.
Musinc aims to break down barriers that can prevent young people from participating in musical activities – financial or otherwise – therefore offering free opportunities to those who need it most.
Now that restrictions have eased and we resume some kind of normality, Musinc is pleased to get back to delivering in-person music sessions to young people.
“Delivering our programme online certainly had its challenges” says Rebecca Johnson, programme manager, “many of the young people we would normally work with did not have access to suitable devices and/or internet, and if they did they may have been sharing it with other members of the family. And then there was the issue of time lag online, meaning that making music together was almost impossible, so we really had to think outside the box!”
The music sessions focus on using music as a way of helping young people to build confidence and social skills as well as to improve behaviour and in some cases increased academic attainment.
Musinc have recently launched a new programme open to all ages and abilities, and based within its home at Middlesbrough Town Hall.
“The Town Hall is an amazing venue, and it’s very rewarding to be able to offer young people the opportunity to come into the building regularly and make music, whether it’s in a weekly session or to perform”, Rebecca adds.
Musinc’s new programme ‘Bandjam’ has 4 groups aimed at different abilities for young people aged 6-18 (minis, beginners, juniors and seniors) meaning that young people can progress through the levels at their own pace supported by the professional musicians on site each week.
The Bandjam programme is based around the instruments usually found within a traditional band set up; guitars, drums and the voice. Young people can get involved in all of these disciplines, or focus on the one they like the best, and by the time they get to the junior group they are playing together as a band.
Other activities include a singing group for ages 8-13, starting on 1st November, and an inclusive music group for ages 16-25.
Equality, diversity and inclusion is intrinsic to the all-encompassing approach that Musinc strive for and want to ensure people of all ages, diversities and abilities can take part in music making. Musical Inclusion Manager Rebecca Johnson, says “we often come across the misperception that disabled people cannot achieve as much in music as their non-disabled peers, but this is simply not true”
Young performers are also invited to take part in Virtual Open Mic Nights which take place fortnightly. Run in partnership with Tees Valley Music Service, these sessions create a supportive network with feedback from professional musicians.