Two reports from our projects
The first Clutha Trust class that I was involved with was run at Royston Youth Action Community Centre. I was usually working with groups of four youngsters at a time, some of whom had experience with other instruments. The group was challenging at first as some of the youngsters had fairly serious behavioural issues. Most of the students responded very well to the lessons and enjoyed learning new skills. I feel that music tuition can be a fantastic opportunity for young people, especially in areas like Royston that have high levels of crime and unemployment. Many youngsters that I meet during these types of classes will be underperforming in school and getting into trouble. Music tuition can be a great way to teach self-discipline and build confidence, as well as encouraging creativity and team work.
The Rosyton class was run at the same time as our first collaboration with the Princes Trust. This class was a big success and several of the students performed very well during the lessons. Some had clearly been putting in a lot of practice between lessons and I’m confident they will continue to practice and improve as musicians. As well as opening up avenues to work in the creative industries, practicing a musical instrument can be a great motivator for youngsters to stay away from destructive habits. Most of the youngsters I’ve worked with during Clutha Trust sessions have had some form of behavioural issues, or have been out of school/work for extended periods of time. I feel the guitar lessons were a valuable addition to the Princes Trust course, which is designed to build confidence, develop life skills and work towards youngsters gaining qualifications and work experience. I was particularly happy with one student who had been very quiet and shy at first. As he progressed on the guitar, he became much more confident in lessons and started to bond well with the group. I believe that the Clutha Trust classes are particularly valuable to quieter students who may be lacking confidence and social skills. The classes provide a fun and relaxed environment for students to bond while learning new skills.
These courses were followed by projects in Miltonbank Primary School and Anniesland College. I had mixed results in Miltonbank with class attendance being lower than I’d had with the other 3 projects, though the youngsters involved certainly enjoyed the classes. The ten week course in Anniesland was concluded with all students performing two songs at their graduation ceremony. I seen some great potential with this group and I am very hopeful that several students will continue to progress on the guitar and with music in general. The class was always keen to learn and I believe that my music classes led to the group bonding and having fun together. Working towards the graduation performance was nerve wracking for some of the group, but everyone performed very well on the day and thoroughly enjoyed it. I strongly believe experiences like this build confidence and self-belief, leading to students acquiring better social skills and job prospects.
As well as providing fantastic music tuition opportunities for youngsters, the Clutha Trust has also furthered my career prospects as a music teacher. When I was chosen as the Clutha Trust music tutor, I was already an experienced guitar teacher. I have been teaching private guitar lessons for many years, allowing me to part fund my Music Performance Honours Degree. My appointment as a Clutha Trust Music Tutor came about a year after I finished my degree. This was a big confidence booster for me and the experience of teaching different groups around the city has been invaluable. I feel that many of the youngsters that I’ve worked with really benefitted from our sessions. In my role as Clutha Trust Tutor, I aim to encourage a hard work ethic, self-motivation and other skills that can lead to better job/qualification prospects. Many youngsters that I meet are impressed that I’ve managed to work towards my dream job of being a full time musician. I strongly emphasise how hard I’ve had to work for this opportunity and encourage my students to work hard to achieve their own goals and dreams.
I look forward to being involved in other Clutha Trust classes in the future.