Supporting young people to express themselves through music
“I was told I could never play guitar or be in a band, but hey I am the bass player in the band and even wrote the bass line for our song ‘Bob can’t get a job. I want to show the world I am a top bass player. It doesn’t matter if people try and put you down, you have to get out and show you CAN do it!”
Emerge Community Arts provide music and performing arts projects in the community and on-line across Flintshire and Wrexham. They support young people and adults who experience learning disabilities and/or mental health issues to learn new skills, express themselves and grow their talent.
They received a multiyear grant from Flintshire Funds to cover part of the cost of hiring an audio technician to support their Sound Express band whose members all have a learning disability. The band write and record their own Music and meet weekly to practice, write, and record music and perform on-line and in the local and wider community.
One of their volunteers, Cal, had been with the group improving his audio and music skills for three years. He was at risk of social isolation and long-term unemployment due to mental health issues and social communication difficulties and was employed for one day a week to work with the band to record their music and provide technical support for the band at events. The funding has helped to provide some security for Cal who has honed his skills and grown in confidence.
A volunteer musician, Jack said:
I can’t miss Fridays. Being around my new friends, it feels good to be helping in the community.’
Workshop assistant Cal said:
‘It’s good to learn new skills, I can stand up and say I am pretty good at that!’