During the June half-term, the NYJO Learning team ran a two-day vocal workshop, aiming to engage more young musicians (aged 11-18) in the Woolwich area, and introduce them to new artists and different approaches to creative music-making, as well as building their confidence and skills.
The first day, led by vocalist, multi-instrumentalist, composer, and arranger, Scarlet Halton, introduced the young people to improvisation practices. On the second day, Ranjana Ghatak brought her experience studying under Maestro Pandit Ajoy Chakabarty to teach traditional Hindustani vocal techniques, taking them on a journey that juxtaposed sacred vocals with contemporary instrumentation.
NYJO Holiday Projects are a safe, fun, non-judgemental environment where young people can be themselves. We run at the participants’ pace, ensuring each young person’s individual needs and musical skills are understood and properly supported. At the end of each session, the young people are encouraged to showcase what they have learnt during the day to an informal audience of family and friends.
All the staff were really welcoming. I’m most grateful to have had such a good first experience to jazz – I would definitely like to learn/do more jazz singing. This project has showed me that jazz is something I definitely want to start doing more of – before, I had never done it so I didn’t know for sure.
Danya, young participant
One of the main advantages of focusing on vocals in our Holiday Projects is that there are fewer barriers to access (like purchasing an instrument and the cost of lessons), which allows us to reach young people who may have never taken part in group music-making before but might have experience in singing with their family or community. We’re excited that this gave us the opportunity to work with some young people that we might not have met otherwise!
At the end of the workshop, all participants reported feeling more confident, as well as supported and welcome throughout. It was incredibly encouraging to see young people who, even so early in their musical journeys, showed a true willingness to move outside their comfort zone, and a real excitement for the learning process!
The NYJO Learning team runs workshops at Woolwich Works during half-terms and the summer break. Keep an eye out on our News page and our What’s On page to keep up-to-date with future opportunities to join us.
If you’re interested in finding out more about our Learning programme, and how you can get involved, please get in touch at [email protected].