Unique Beatz with Unique Kidz & Co
Posted by More Music on 17 January 2023
This Spring, music leaders Ashley Murphy and Rachel Parsons from More Music have returned again to Morecambe based organisation Unique Kidz and Co. They offer children and young people with disabilities access to high quality play activities and childcare.
Ashley and Rachel have been delivering the ‘Unique Beatz‘ music project since 2019. It started as an introductory singing and drumming workshop and has now developed into a songwriting and band workshop. The project is funded by Lancashire Music Hub and Youth Music.
We spoke with Ashley about the project.
Hi Ashley, could you tell us about this term?
This term has been a real development for the project. We had some of the same participants from last term, including Sarah who has completed our More Music Mentorship programme, so we knew we could progress onto new musical opportunities.
We started looking at what chords could work in what order and what the structure of songs are and talked about genre. We also started writing lyrics as a group activity. This was a real positive for the group which involves a wide range of disabilities and the song started to come together.
What was interesting about this process?
The main thing myself and Rachel were keen to not do was write the song for the group and really let the young people make the decisions around chords and lyrics. This meant that we had a new approach to the workshop which was a great learning experience for us as leaders.
What have the group have learnt this term?
This term the group have had a real insight in the whole process of writing a song from scratch and also recording the vocals in a studio environment.
It was great to see the culmination of the work at the Chameleon event at More Music. The group took to the stage in front over 100 people to debut their brand-new song. It was greatly received and the feedback was amazing, it was great to see the group perform a piece of original music.
What’s next for the group?
It would be great to see the Unique Beatz group perform in new spaces now and put together a set of material. There are some fantastic performers in the group so a music video would also be really exciting!
We also chatted to Jordan Halpin, the Manager at Unique Kidz, about the project. She said:
“Unique Beatz is without a doubt one of the highlights of our week at Unique Kidz and Co. The young people constantly look forward to Ashley and Rachel arriving and both staff and families have noticed the difference in the confidence of the young people who attend the sessions. Their faces light up when asked how the session went and they are really keen to show off the new skills they are learning. We can see a real pride in the young people in what they are doing and achieving – especially with the end of term gigs – and we are really proud to work alongside More Music as part of this project.”