LIVE MUSIC NOW
Live Music Now (LMN) is an organisation which promotes high quality live music in settings with little access to music, such as care homes, mental health centres and special needs schools. LMN was set up over 40 years ago by legendary violinist Yehudi Menuhin, and to this day is a platform for musicians starting out their careers, providing a training scheme to enable musicians to develop their skills in a variety of settings.
I was on the Live Music Now scheme for four years with Trio Simbora, alongside Luiz Morais on 7-string guitar and Alba Cabral/ Alua Nascimento on percussion. Together, we performed interactive concerts and ran workshops in special needs schools, care homes and mental health day centres. We took audiences on a journey through Brazil with instrumental music, song, dance and percussion - always with a healthy dose of participation! Our work led us all around London and to Lincolnshire, Bournemouth and Devon! See this video for an idea of how we work:
Creating Music Together
Residency at Nightingale House, Jewish care home
This was a 10-week residency designed to get residents singing. The project was part of the 'A choir in every care home' scheme, but we renamed the sessions to reflect our creative and more relaxed process. The term 'choir' is very loaded, and many may not wish to participate in something so formal. The sessions were led alongside singer and fellow LMN musician Noga Ritter, as well as Alastair and Anselle, both staff from Nightingale House. Alastair was a phenomenal pianist and was an asset to the project!
During the sessions, we explored a wide range of repertoire. Jewish songs such as Hava Nagila, If I were a Rich Man and Yiddish song Tumbalalaike went down extremely well, as well as jazz standards such as 'All of me' (complete with skatting by resident Nigel), 'Fly me to the moon' and 'Autumn Leaves'. Many residents loved classical music. For example, Eric loved to sing the Schubert song 'Die Forelle' (The Trout) in German, and Sadie loved to dance to the Habanera from Carmen. One resident even loved Adele! The idea of the residency was to facilitate care staff to lead music making activities when we were not there, so we encouraged staff to lead a song from their homes. This way, we all learned songs from Nigeria, the Phillipines and Jamaica as well as Israel (Noga) and Brazil / England (me).
Read the Baring Foundation report on our project here.
SEND Inspire: Level 3 Fellowship
SEND Inspire is a programme run by Live Music Now which aims to train musicians in working in special educational needs (SEND) settings.
I have now completed my Level 3 Fellowship, which was a year-long placement in Mapledown School to support and enrich music provision. I used the Sounds of Intent framework to assess pupils' progress, and worked with pupils with many different needs, including autism and profound and multiple learning difficulties (PMLD). I led class music sessions, which included songwriting, percussion and interactive musical stories. The project culminated in a two-day long workshop and performance for all pupils in the school inspired by the Amazon.