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Annual Report

Ron's Story

Case Study - Music Workshop

Young people have been anonymised for this article.

When Ron came to the first session, there was some tension between him and another group member he previously knew. Also, in the summer sessions, he seemed to find conversations about specific social issues challenging and was showcasing some disruptive body language and behaviour. As a result, this led to a breakdown in relationships and some tensions in the group. 

Ron wasn't focusing in his first session. He and another member, Jon, were engaging each other in a "jokey" yet disparaging back and forth dynamic, which was hard to control. 

The project co-ordinator realised it was due to a lack of confidence and a lack of understanding of the sessions as Ron had not attended the very first one in the block. In the following session, Beats Lab (a partner organisation) explained everything very clearly, so there wasn't room for anyone to feel that they didn't understand. As sessions moved online, the group focused on lyrics and lyric writing. Ron quickly had a lot of ideas - even though he repeatedly said things like "don't worry, it's probably rubbish" or "forget it". Beats Lab engaged with him as much as possible, making sure he knew his contributions were valued. They actively ensured they positively reinforced that his ideas were amazing and exactly what they wanted from the group. This encouraged him to become the most active member of the project. He attended sessions every week; even when fewer young people were attending during lockdown. 

The confidence Ron gained in the online sessions helped him and the whole group work effectively and efficiently together in the final session. He was engaged and encouraging to the others. Ron and Jon were much more supportive of one another, helping out with engineering and practising parts together. 

Staff relationships also improved significantly with Ron. His engagement increased, too, as did his eagerness to communicate. He became more chatty and jokey with the partner organisation; he was more relaxed and was comfortable in the final group session. Ron also became more willing to share his ideas with the group without fear of judgment or lack of confidence or knowledge. 

Beats Lab praised the development of Ron's lyrics and musicality. They said, "his lyrical abilities strengthened as he gained a better understanding of the process and knowledge on how to write". Ron created a professional piece of work that he can call his own and share with friends and family. We hope this will encourage him to continue pursuing music and receive positive and encouraging feedback from others too!