A new project supported by Newcastle University Students’ Union (NUSU) is helping children in the North East find their beat through learning new, and unique, musical instruments.
‘Junk Music’, which has been taking place at the Nunsmoor Centre, Newcastle, has seen volunteering students from Newcastle University sharing their musical knowledge with special needs children and helping them learn something completely new.
Katie Blundell, Volunteering Manager at NUSU said: “This is such a wonderful project for Go Volunteer and NUSU to support as not only do our students build their leadership and creative skills, but the children have such a great experience in learning something brand new, meeting new people and having lots of fun.
“We received a lot of interest from our students who wanted to help with the project and the feedback we have received has been phenomenal.”
In running with the theme of the classes, Junk Music participants have been encouraged to make and decorate their own pan flutes too, made out of plastic tubing.
Carmel Weinberger, Junk Music Project Lead, said: “It was amazing to watch how music inspired creativity and instilled a sense of confidence in the children."
The project, which was funded by Newcastle City Council Children with Disabilities Department, has been aimed at young people aged between 8-12 years old where they will experience working in teams, learning new music and creating their own instruments. An end of term concert is also being planned for the children to show off their new found skills.
Alyson Hampshire, Chair of the Nunsmoor Centre Trust, said: “At times the students have led the group, at other times provided one to one support for children who have needed it to reach their potential. Without that extra support and input provided by the students this group could not have taken place. The outcomes for each child have been very positive, with examples including increasing concentration spans, sharing, learning to listen, being part of a group and coping with others.
“Every child will receive a CD on which they have contributed and we are planning a performance to which families and friends will be invited. There was a real sense of pride as certificates were handed out at the last of the pilot project’s workshop.”
Katie continued: “We’d like all of the children that took part in the sessions to put on a performance for us and show us all the new skills that they have learned, as well as show off their brand new, homemade instruments.
“There has been so much support for this project and we’d like to thank the Nunsmoor Centre, North East Special Needs Network (NESNN), Gary Bowden and all of the volunteers in particular who have made Junk Music such a success.”
For more information on NUSU’s volunteering projects head to www.nusu.co.uk/govolunteer.