Transforming young people's lives through music
By Mark Owen and David Wood | 26th October 2023
A Gloucester-based charity with world class facilities is helping to transform young lives through music.
Punchline-Gloucester.com has been given an exclusive tour of The Music Works to find out exactly what they do.
Chief executive Deborah Potts said: "I think you'd be hard pushed to find anyone who is not into music and we know that music engages young people, it helps them connect, it helps them be creative and they can come right the way through from first access to getting a career in the music industry with us.
"You will see young people doing different things from vocals to music productions, they might get involved in management, organising events, DJing, radio, all sorts.
Set in a spacious suite of rooms above the old Chambers pub in Kings Square, The Music Works has a large, welcoming open space where young people can come and meet other creatives, do their work or just hang out.
"We've got a whole range of studios," added Deborah. "It's all about progression. It's about helping young people start at the place that's right for them and they can keep going right to the point where they are working in a recording studio which is as good as anywhere in the country or anywhere in the world so it also helps with creative careers for those who want to work in the industry."
There's also a production room and live rooms and The Music Works runs its own artist development programme.
"Some of our artists who are trying to break into the industry come and record here," said Deborah. "We've just had one artist called Eljé who is doing really well and has just been signed by Orchard/Sony.
"It's for all types of music for all types of young people. You have your rappers, you have those who want to be in a band. We cater for everyone. You can do radio, you can do podcasting, you can do all sorts of things."
In the Digi Suite young people can come and use a mac, or use it for music tech, music production, videography and work as a group or just come work on their own stuff.
Another very special room is the sensory music room. Deborah said: "We think it's the only one we know of in the country. It's specifically all about equipment and we can make sure that anyone can make music. In that room we've got equipment where you can make music with your eyes, or just with a little touch, you can make music in a way where you can see it visually so we work with young people with a range of disabilities who are hearing impaired and all of that means that all young people can make music here."
The Music Works also runs a music equipment donation scheme. "We recently had one of the producers of Massive Attack come in and donate loads of equipment," said Deborah. "We get lots of people donating equipment and then we match the equipment up with the young person who wants to learn an instrument or needs a piece of equipment.
"We do get a broad range and as long as we feel we can match it up with a young person then we can take it. If not, there's lots of other charities like Gloucestershire Academy of Music that we can point them in that direction."
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