The partnership between SPEAR and Irene Taylor Trust began in January 2020, when Sara Lee – the Artistic Director of Irene Taylor Trust – and Dr Rosie Reynolds – SPEAR’s Young Persons Engagement Project Worker – connected on social media. Sara Lee then attended SPEAR’s Young Person Hostel with a volunteer to talk to SPEAR’s under-25 residents about the work that Irene Taylor Trust does.
The Irene Taylor Trust creating original music collaboratively has a powerful positive impact on people’s lives, bringing new confidence, important transferrable skills and raised aspirations for the future. Music can break down barriers and help people who have found themselves on the fringes of society to become celebrated and valued members of the community. Their projects support NEET (Not in Employment, Education or Training) young people, ex-prisoners and people of all ages in prisons.
In September, the Irene Taylor Trust delivered their Making Tracks programme to a group of SPEAR’s young people aged 18-21. After some careful planning to meet the COVID-19 regulations, the programme offered 8 group sessions over a 2–week period at a local community venue. The attendees (many of whom had no prior musical experience) worked with musicians to create a series of tracks, using musical instruments and original writing. Each group produced between 1-3 original pieces of music.
The programme was well-received by the groups and helped to expand the horizons of the young people involved.
In Part 2 of this article, we will share feedback from the young people to get an insight of their experience as well as the pieces of music they created.