Do you remember our innovative Future Sound project last Autumn? Talented Afrobeat jazz band KOKOROKO came together with promising young musicians at Mossbourne Community Academy in a series of exciting school workshops. The collaboration culminated in a performance at award-winning jazz venue Church of Sound, showcasing the band’s music and new compositions in front of an audience of family, friends and local community.
It was a unique and inspiring experience for everyone involved, and I’m super proud to share the joy through this little film we made about it:
Video credit: filmed by Silvia Gin; edited by Remy Archer; music: Adwa by KOKOROKO
What we learned from Future Sound
We did a detailed evaluation to help us with similar programmes in the future. We found the young people had developed their musical knowledge and ability – like understanding the history of Afrobeat, playing by ear, improvising, composing, improving tone and blending different genres. Plus they gained valuable transferable skills – like accepting and learning from your mistakes, collaborating and leading a team. And many grew personally, discovering self-belief and having the confidence to play a solo in public for the first ever time.
Here’s what some of the Future Sound students, band members and teachers said:
Trombone player Richie Seivwright commented: “It’s important for gigging musicians – especially people like us coming from backgrounds that we did – to contribute to the bringing up of the next generation. We’re giving them something to look up to and inspiring them, as we were like them not long ago. So many great things can come out of giving young people a opportunity to experience a new thing and something simple like a couple of workshops can completely change the mindset of a young person.”
One of the student participants added: “The thing I enjoyed the most was playing with professional musicians. I feel like that really broadened my horizons and let me understand how music is behind all the closed doors. I enjoyed it more because it shows you what people actually go through to make music. It was nice to have someone else that you can look up to, learn from them and join all those ideas together to one big successful piece.”
Sophie Sayer, Head of Music at Mossbourne Community Academy, said: “They’ve had the most amazing mentoring and chance to work with professional jazz musicians, who’re similar to them, which is a really special and unique opportunity that you just can’t get in a school setting. Having Kokoroko come in and perform was just absolutely amazing, their lunchtime gig for all the students was probably the best music that we’ve ever had in the school so that was incredible and inspiring and exciting.”
How can you help us change young lives through music? Simply give a regular monthly gift by becoming an AWF Trailblazer. With thanks to PRS Foundation and Arts Council England for their generous Future Sound funding.