the reeltime music newsletter ~ autumn 2007
Reid All About It!
Dr John Reid MP, recently returned to Reeltime Music to help celebrate the project’s 10th birthday. Taking time out from his busy schedule as then Secretary of State, Dr Reid was keen to see for himself the many developments at Reeltime since his first visit in 2005, when he became an honorary member of the project. The afternoon began with Dr Reid being presented with a copy of the latest CD from Sweet Rappers, a girl band from St Augustine’s Primary School in Coatbridge. Aged 11, the girls are already veterans of Reeltime, having recorded 3 albums. After performing one of their songs, the girls then explained to Dr Reid how valuable their time at Reeltime has been, allowing them to develop their confidence and artistic ability, as well raising hundreds of pounds for children’s charities.
Dr Reid was then entertained with a song by Scott Brazil and Mikey McKerral, who both became involved at Reeltime Music as young musicians when the project first began. Scott in particular is now heavily involved in delivering many of Reeltime’s programmes to the upcoming set of new musicians. Reeltime Music chairman, Ian Anderson, spoke to Dr Reid about the good work being done with young people by Reeltime Music and the great partnerships that have been established since his last visit to the studio, such as that with Strathclyde Fire and Rescue Service. Dr Reid also participated in a Q&A session with the many young people in attendance. He also congratulated the staff and Management Committee of Reeltime Music on all their hard work building the organisation and its involvement with young people in North Lanarkshire.
The PEOPLE Programme The PEOPLE Programme (co(co-ordinated by Access) is designed specifically for disengaged young people in North Lanarkshire, particularly particularly those who are homeless or vulnerable to homelessness. The programme (which stands for Promoting Employability Opportunities Opportunities through Positive Learning Experiences) aims to take learning to the young person by involving them in activities which have meaning meaning for them and which they can relate to. Activities offered in current and previous programmes include: Music ~ Forklift Truck Truck Licence Cookery & Food hygiene ~ PC Building First Aid ~ Driving Lessons For many disengaged young people, prior learning has been too similar to schools and colleges and this can have a negative impact on their continued learning, development and employability. The PEOPLE project aims to engage these young people in positive experiences where they can develop communication and social interaction skills whilst having fun in a structured but informal programme. The Music Programme Reeltime Music has delivered the music strand of the project for the last three years and each programme aims to develop and evolve from the last into something that can be both interesting for the participants but still have tangible long term effects. The most recent programme took place at Reeltime Music studios in Newarthill between 16th and 25th April 2007 with participants attending three days per week (Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday) from 12 ~ 4 pm. Each daily workshop was split into sessions lasting no longer than 50 minutes to allow the participants to maintain their concentration levels, and delivered a balance of social
interaction, instrumental skills, music technology, dance/DJ skills, IT/internet time and fun activities such as quizzes and impromptu jam sessions. Instrumental Sessions In the instrumental music sessions, participants were encouraged to try out various instruments before deciding on an instrument on day 2. From then on the young people were encouraged to choose a song which they could learn, perform, record and produce on CD as a final outcome for the project. By allowing the young people to work together to choose their song, they were learning something they wanted to play rather than being given a standard piece they may have never heard. In the case of the song being difficult to play, the tutors broke the song down into simple chunks which still allowed the participant to feel good at having learned each part. Dance/DJ Skills Participants taking part in the dance/DJ skills sessions spent time with a DJ tutor learning the basics of beat matching and scratching using CD decks and vinyl turntables. Alongside this they also had the opportunity to learn some basic skills in dance music production using Propellerheads Reason software.
The PEOPLE Programme continued Studio Skills The Studio Skills sessions allow participants to learn the basic techniques involved in recording and producing music. This strand integrates well with the others in the programme as it encourages the young people to record others working on the other strands to produce the final CD or DVD. What the young people thought of it “The people who have been around on the course are really cool. I really enjoyed getting to create my own mix and just to see how everyone got on was really encouraging.” “I’ve always had a passion for music, I’ve been trying to teach myself the guitar for over a year, with struggles, but I keep trying. This course has gave me so much confidence that I can do it and I will push myself further. I really hope to come back and see you soon.” “Yes, I would love to continue doing music especially the drums.” “I always enjoyed music but now I know how to create my own I will definitely keep at it” “(The highlight was) learning to play the drums and having a laugh.” “Yes, I will be trying to get some guitar tuition” “Just meeting all the wonderful people and having a good laugh ... I’ve missed out on all this for ages and it’s about time I got myself together! Also getting the chance to play music with someone was brilliant.” Many of the young people continue to come along to the Reeltime Music Youth group on Wednesday nights.
Chris Evans Hi, my name is Chris Evans. I would like to take a moment of your time to tell you how Reeltime Music has helped me and what they they have done for me. I was attending various workshops and training classes with Access through the PEOPLE Programme, which ranged from cooking classes in the Bentley Hotel, to building a PC in a workshop through recycling. Then I saw the Reeltime Music PEOPLE Programme. It is a 6 day course to learn an instrument, form a band and record an album. I didn’t have any musical experience at all but I loved listening to music and I was always getting into trouble for tapping my desk at work or sacrificing my own body to make a good beat. It was great and I was lucky enough to already know people on the programme and also meet new people and new friends hopefully for life. My band is called The Stripy Jumpers and consists of me and my pal Mark. I play the drums and he plays guitar and sings. We did a cover version of Heart Shaped Box by Nirvana. I am not a Nirvana fan but Mark likes them and that song, he said to me, was going to be his funeral song; so it was an honour to do it with him and I
couldn’t have done it without the help and support of Reeltime Music. Afterwards I was talking to Scott Brazil and Ryan Currie, some of the staff, about other things that Reeltime Music do, because I got a lot out of the 6 day workshop. They told me they run a youth group on a Wednesday night between 6 pm and 10 pm for young people. So I decided to see what it was like. I sat and spoke to some of the young people and got to know them better. I now go to the youth group every week because it allows me to make new friends and have a great laugh and also make music. I am currently doing a bit of youth work now with the youth group. I get everyone together at 6.30 and spend half an hour with them doing various things such as play Deal or No Deal and also ask what they want to do. This makes them get involved more too and also have good fun and giggles. Eventually I want to work with Reeltime Music and try and make a difference to people’s life, the way they did with mine. I feel that the staff at Reeltime Music don’t get enough credit for what they do and they deserve so much. They have truly changed my life forever and I will never forget that. I hope one day I can repay them.
The Delusional by Scott Brazil My experience taking part in the 7 Bars project (see EQ Spring 2007) was one of the best musical learning curves curves of my life. Being a part of the project was an extremely exciting and liberating experience. Working with Paul Quinn of The Primary 5, an established industry professional, was absolutely amazing. He taught us many things and made us a much better band. Paul also made us realise our real potential.
The song writing skills he shared with us were priceless and we have started incorporating these in all of our new songs as well as revising our older ones. Paul showed us that no part of the song should be wasted and all the spaces should be filled. The song he helped us produce, Get It and Go, is an absolutely fantastic tune which gets all our following up for our gigs. I would just like to say thank you on behalf of my band to everyone who made this opportunity possible for us.