MYF Kids Mayo - Performance Day
Greetings from Musical Youth Foundation HQ,
As usual it has been a busy summer backstage at Musical Youth Foundation HQ. While the kids are all on summer break, there's always plenty to keep us busy with all the end of term feedback to review from teachers, students and our Guitars for Kids Music Education partners. We're constantly reviewing our music programmes to make sure we're on the right track and giving the young people the best chance to succeed.
End of term feedback...
I'd like to share just a quick sample of what we get back to give you an idea of what our teachers and students are telling us;
Q: Has the project had an impact on the participants? (please give examples)
"Most definitely. It's amazing. There is a marked increase in the children’s confidence in their own ability, increase in their ability to perform in front of others, increase in musical ability, increase in self-esteem and self-belief, improved behaviour and participation in academic lessons also.It's great to be a part of it all." - Tracy, Guitar Teacher
"They loved experimenting with different rhythms and tunes that they composed themselves – I was surprised by how quickly they took to it. Only one girl dropped out towards the end due to poor energy levels. There is a high demand for places with many more children waiting to get involved. These children would not have had the opportunity to access guitar lessons out of school so it’s really great for them." - Katie, School Principle
Q: General Feedback: (please share any other thoughts or feelings you have in relation to the project)
"It’s a fantastic project – so grateful to have been able to introduce it to this school. It is great to see the children engaged in learning a new skill. A great success so far and we’re so thankful for being included in it.” - Maeve, Youth Worker
Q: How could the project be improved?
"The project worked well as all young people were at the same level beginning. The session times worked well also the numbers and content. In my opinion in relation to the children here and this centre the programme worked well and has little need for improvement , as it has introduced these young people to an instrument at a young age and without the barrier of expense which would have been a hindering factor for most if not all of our service users." - Conor, Youth Centre Manager
Q: How did you feel about being part of the Guitars for kids programme?
"Loved it a lot. I was always listening to music on the radio and playing air guitar in my room when my brothers weren't around to tell me to stop acting the ejit. Now I'm actually playing an actual guitar and they're like...play something for us. haha I can't wait for the summer to be over and get back to it now." - Adam, age 13
"Yeah it's deadly but it would be better if the lessons didn't stop during the summer but I'll keep practising and the teacher has given me loads of chords to work on so I guess its not to bad." - Sarah, age 12
Well that's just a snapshot of what's being said. We're going to try and put it all together and make it visible online at some stage because keeping you, our valued supporters, informed is also important to us. We want you to be sure we're putting your investment in us to good use. With that in mind, if you've ever got a query don't forget you can always get in touch - we're always happy to answer any questions you may have.
Fundraising is never far from our minds. After all without vital funds we wouldn't be able to continue supporting children, that otherwise wouldn't get the opportunity, with access to life-changing music education classes.
We've still got a long way to go but I'm delighted to report that things are slowly starting to pick up. We've noticed a change in attitude as businesses seem to be in a better position to offer support now than they have been over the last number of difficult years. We're currently talking to a number of high profile brands about how they could get involved and make a real and lasting difference to the lives of some of Ireland's most vulnerable children. As usual, we've got some really exciting projects in the pipeline. Can't say too much just now but stay tuned as we will be revealing all over the coming weeks and months.
Champions of Music Education..
Our Champions of Music Education programme is up and running and over the coming few months we'll be asking businesses to invest just €500. (that's just €1.36 a day) in music education for kids. We're looking for 300 businesses to join the programme. In return for their support we're offering some exciting benefits including a limited edition framed Champions of Music Education certificate featuring Irish music icons. The original artwork was created by artist Aga Szot. We've already got some great brands on board - but we'll be sharing more news about that a little later in the year. Most important though, is our desire to increase the number of young people we support to over 500 - that's a big challenge but we've always believed in dreaming big. It's what's got us this far along the road and we're sure it won't be too long before we reach our next target.
The new term...
All the young people are starting back to school now and can't wait for their guitar classes to start up again over the coming two weeks. We've been working with our Music Education Partners in this regard and are thrilled to be able to announce that we've even managed to find some funding which will allow us to increase the number of hours we provide in some centres. Hopefully, with your support, we'll be able to increase the number of lessons and young people across all our centres before the end of the year.
We're also working on improving how we tell our story, inspired by online tools from Global Giving and of course seeing first-hand what your investment in our projects is yielding for the young people involved. Expect to see more photos and videos of our young musicians in action over the coming months.
In the meantime, check out this little snippet of a song written by some of our students in Galway. The song is called Watermelon Man and we're going to record it professionally later in the year and might even see about releasing it via itunes and spotify etc.
A slice of Watermelon
Be warned though, I've been humming this on and off all summer! #CatchyTune
Thank you as always for your support, it really is making a difference!
Hugs, flowers and tears - end of term June 2016