Mix tape – a music-making project

Imagine a day of music making where you get to feel the detail of every part of the music you’re making – rhythms, melody, harmony, and how they all come together. Thats what Mix Tape is. A pan-genre music-making project where young people get to experience passionate and creative music-making led by session leaders from many different musical backgrounds.

What is Mix Tape?

Mix Tape is a music-making project for children aged 7-18. It is unique in bringing together children with interests and experience in any or all genres of music. 

The course will run weekly throughout term time and there will be intensive courses in school holidays. It will include working together with peers and expert session leaders on all genres of music, and also concerts where the participants and session leaders will perform to audiences.

One of the impacts of the Covid-19 lockdown has been that children were unable to make music with their peers. The process of coming together to explore the music that means the most to us, with peers, siblings and friends, led by high quality musicians and workshop leaders, will address the emotional, creative and practical deficits created by the Covid-19 lockdown.

What will the participants on mix tape do?

Our approach is to invite participants to suggest songs, tracks or pieces of music that resonate with them. The music will be learned by ear by players of all instruments and genres, broken down into rhythm, harmony and melody. It will then be adapted through arrangements and/or improvisation, taking on the styles of music covered by the course. The idea is to hear the key elements of each genre of music, whilst not segregating them – providing an all-round musical experience, all focused on music chosen by the participants themselves. 

The participants will be divided into sections (percussion, bass, mid, treble) and have section leaders. Younger or less experienced children will be “buddied” with older/more experienced players, creating a dynamic learning environment based on peer support with expert oversight. All students will be learning all aspects of the music to gain a deeper understanding. 

The day will be structured so that every child gets to experience a wide range of approaches to music-making. Each day will begin with a whole group samba session in the morning. Participants will then be encouraged in the afternoon to learn both melody and harmony of the piece they’ll be playing, and to compose and arrange in their own groups.

The week will culminate in a concert where the participants and course leaders will perform the work they have created.

Who is involved? 

We have brought together a line-up of the North-East’s best music leaders and educators to create this bespoke programme.

The session leaders are:

Kieran Szifris, Amy Thatcher (folk)

Stuart Finden (jazz/world)

Paul Susans (world/rock/jazz)

Katie Lumley (pop/folk)

Fran Knowles (classical/world)

Louise Smart (Samba)

Mark Caroll, Timothy Burke, Ruth Jenkins Robertsson, Andri Bjorn Robertsson (classical)


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