Blog / Music making sessions score big hit

Music making sessions score big hit

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Blog by songwriter Ewen Watson, who co-hosted the first phase of our AMP:Music Intro to Music Making sessions at Aberlour Youth Point last year.

“As a music specialist and tutor, I have the privilege of working with a wide range of young people across Moray.

However, since the pandemic hit nearly two years ago, I’ve mainly been stuck indoors and working online from home (like much of the population).

As things eased up last year, I was allowed to gradually start face-to-face sessions again and was delighted to be offered the chance to work alongside Tom Morris (a fantastic guitar teacher who runs Moray Music Lessons) to deliver Findhorn Bay Arts’ Intro to Music Making project.

This project was a great opportunity for young people to learn about the basics of music, try out various instruments, play together, engage with tutors and have fun.

Tom and I came into these sessions not knowing what to expect. What we found were young people with a range of musical backgrounds: bagpipers, saxophonists, singers and several who had no prior experience at all.

The sessions were generally quite loose as young people explored different ways to make music. They were encouraged to try different instruments while we guided them and gave basic lessons in rhythm, timing, chords and song structures and we watched as the young people learned to cooperate and develop their confidence.

We took song requests and taught them from the ground up assigning different instruments to different people each time. It was rewarding to watch each young person develop their skills and find out which instruments they became drawn to over the course of the project.

By the end of each session, the young people were able to play a song together and showed a great deal of enthusiasm for choosing the soundtrack for the next week.

My personal highlight was when the drums, guitars, bass, vocals, saxophone and bagpipes all came together for a very experimental version of Lynyrd Skynyrd’s Sweet Home Alabama (via Scotland the Brave!)

Things were going really well with this project when things were suddenly derailed by the latest round of COVID restrictions and we were forced to postpone sessions until further notice.

We are all hopeful that we can continue this project in some form and that the young people who took part have the chance to dive back into the music making process and further develop and showcase their musical skills.

It has been a pleasure to be a part of this and I can’t wait to pick things up where we left off.  We have a long list of songs to get through!

A huge thank you to Ewen, Tom and Anne at Aberlour Youth Point for the pics – and especially to our session participants for their energy and commitment. Bravo!

The next phase of our Intro to Music Making programme gets underway on Thursdays, 7.30-8pm, from 3rd Feb – 10th Mar. Find out more.

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