Case Studies & Testimonials

Musica Workshop Leader – Ali Henty (RHS)

Musica also have a number of ex-workshop participants that have become volunteers and are now working with Musica, some of whom have gone on to be Workshop Leaders and make a full time career within the creative arts and music industry themselves.

Three sample case studies from our clients:

CASE STUDY 1 – Parkside PRU – Pupil 1

Diagnosis of Autistic Spectrum Disorder and Acute Anxiety

Severely affected by changes in routine and significant attachment issues
Had intensive support from Amanda Firmin (County Inclusive Resource)
Input from CAMHS on a regular basis. Dr Paul Wendon Blixrud, Clinical Psychologist

Pupil 1 had a very gradual integration into Parkside with support from Amanda Firmin from CIR. As part of his package he was offered the opportunity to join guitar music sessions. For several weeks he refused to engage in these insisting that his own private tutor would suffice. He was also very reluctant to engage with Parkside staff in general and it took some time for him to access lessons with other pupils. Eventually pupil 1 was encouraged to join in Guitar lessons and he progressed to such an extent that he was able to complete the Rock School Course.

In the first term of Pupil 1 starting Parkside he would sit very quietly at break/lunchtimes (often with support staff). But a turning point came for him when he became part of the guitar group. He gradually made friends and would sit in the meeting room at social times. The support he had at social times was relaxed at this time. Over the course of the year he built up enough confidence to play his guitar in front of peers in social times and it was clear that the confidence this had given him had allowed him to form new friendships. He was able to join in with other peers and have something to contribute in social situations (discussions around music/performance/commenting on other pupils playing as a starting point)

He became accepted in a social group and this had a positive effect on all areas of his school life.  Performances were always an issue for this pupil during the first year and he would often not attend when it came to crucial rehearsals/performance days. It was only in the last year and his post 16 year that this pupil began to feel confident enough to perform.

Since then he has gone on to form a band and perform to members of the public and subsequently have a full and varied social life, access further education and be part of society. Something his family weren’t sure he would achieve. He now has the resilience to cope with his anxieties and is more able to manage change.

Key to his success was the continual, reassuring yet challenging work he undertook in his music sessions in a safe reassuring environment where he was able to express himself without fear of failure.

S Swann, Deputy Head, Parkside PRU.


CASE STUDY 2 – PARKSIDE PRU – Pupil 2

Referred to Parkside in 2008.
Diagnosis of Autistic Spectrum Disorder
ADHD with anger outbursts, OCD
Anxiety around attending school lead to school refusal (referred to Parkside PRU)
Input from CAMHS Dr Silva/Dr Garfield – Pupil 2 attended from year 9.

When CB first started at Parkside he was very lively. He found it very difficult to focus and engage in activities. At times he would be followed around the building as he wouldn’t remain still. He was very talkative, inappropriately so. He didn’t have any friends and struggled to interact within his peer group.
We offered CB the opportunity to take guitar lessons in our ‘Jigsaw’ sessions at Parkside and the effects were staggering. He enjoyed the sessions and appeared happier. He succeeded in these sessions and over time we encouraged Callum to play his guitar when he needed time out from lessons or as a way of occupying his time at break and lunch times. It was clear that he found this calming and therapeutic as well as satisfying. He formed friendships and his confidence increased. Staff reported that he was more productive and motivated in lessons and was keen to work hard at school so that he could move onto college. CB would often play his guitar at lunchtimes for other pupils to listen to and would help support fellow peers in learning the instrument. He took part in many prestigious performances with Parkside (Snape Maltings Celebration of schools music) and since then he has gone on to form a band and perform to members of the public and subsequently have a full and varied social life, access further education and be part of society. Something his family weren’t sure he would achieve. He now has the resilience to cope with his anxieties and anger .

Key to his success was the continual, reassuring yet challenging work he undertook in his music sessions in a safe reassuring environment where he was able to express himself without fear of failure.

S Swann Deputy Head, Parkside PRU, Ipswich.


CASE STUDY 3 – Stowmarket ASD Saturday Club

“Musica came into our club to carry out a workshop. Tim and George liaised with me many times before the day; this made me feel very comfortable and confident. We worked together to arrange the correct session that the children at the club will be able to carry out, enjoy and learn from.

Stowmarket ASD Saturday club is a club for children with a diagnosis for Autistic Spectrum Disorder this is a lifelong Developmental disability. This affects their social interactions, social communication and imagination. It also affects how they make sense of the world around them. This means that most children with ASD have trouble communicating with others, they are very honest and literal. Making friends can be very difficult. Some of the children at the club also have ADHD, OCD, Dyspraxia and other learning difficulties alongside ASD which makes it even more difficult for them.

We provide the club so the children are able to come along and have fun, help them make friends and allow the parents / carers to have a break, When we arranged to have Musica come into the club my initial through was how fun it would be, some of children at the club really enjoyed playing instruments.

The workshop was even better than I thought it would be. Tim and George completely understood what the children needed and were able to bond with the children very quickly gaining there trust. Not only was the workshop fun but the children were able to develop new life skills and achieve small goals.

Tim and George helped the children to write the lyrics to their song that later they would record and preform. This was the part of the workshop I thought the children may struggle with as working in a group can be difficult and having to wait their turn and not being able to do things their own way, But this was an amazing development to watch. I saw a group of children brainstorm and link ideas together, the children would choose and change their song also listening to Tim and Georges suggestions. Together they were able to write their song and come up with a name for the band “Pizza Party.” Carrying this small part of the workshop out helped to boost the children’s self-esteem, building up their confidence even more.

Tim and George then helped all of the children to play there instruments creating a beat and a rhythm and then introducing the lyrics. By this part of the workshop I through some of the children may have been distracted away but Tim and George were able to keep them interested and helped them follow it through right to the end. This is an achievement in its self.

Throughout the workshop children became annoyed with each other but Tim and George were able to suggest things to do to help this stop bothering them. I watched children that would normally kick off and become very angry calm down very quickly and distract themselves away from the problem.

Performing the song ‘Bears in the Deep.’ to their parents / Carers was amazing they were able to see firsthand how effective the workshop had been. The children not only performed their song once but 3 times. I could see the parent’s faces and this will be a memory I have forever. They were so proud and surprised at what their children had achieved, this was all thanks to Musica.

To top of the workshop the children each got a t-shirt and a copy of their recorded track, this made the experience feel real like they really were a rock band and meant that the memory could go on. Each time they listen to their song they can remember what they achieved.

I am so thankful to Musica, this was an amazing achievement and has helped the children at the club become stronger, helped them to build friendships, help the children to learn that they sometimes have to work with people they don’t get on with and to stick at something as they can create a master piece. The workshop helped them all in so many different ways. We ‘will defiantly be asking Musica to come back in the future.”

Leah Bowers


A selection of testimonials from our clients and workshop attendees …

TOPCATS CHARITY 

Would like to thank Musica Workshops for your continued support. The achievement we have seen in the young people that have ben involved so far in the workshops has been incredible! Talents that we never knew were there!

Seeing our young people really excited at the prospect of the next session is great. The workshops are delivered ensuring the inclusion of everyone that attends. All levels of ability supported at Topcats are catered for to a high standard and we are so pleased that we are able to work in partnership with a fabulous team.

Anne-Marie  Children Service Manager


Sonny

Just want to say how much Sonny has enjoyed working with you and learning how to play the guitar, he has gone from never picking up an instrument to learning to play the guitar in 18 months and to do well enough to get onto the level 3 music and performance course at college,

Working with yourself and learning to play has given him so much more confidence in himself that he can achieve his goals in life

Many thanks, Julie


Isaac

I have done workshops with you at a number of Just So Festivals, and last year you got me to play one of my own songs on the main stage.

I have now recorded an E.P. of my own songs you can listen to it here

Cheers, Isaac


William

We would like to thank you giving William the chance to be on stage at the Just So Festival again this year 2015 and we wanted to write you a testimonial.
When we met you 2 years ago William’s confidence had hit rock bottom, he was having a tough time in school and it had made him feel very sad, stressed and very low about himself. He has always had an interest in music and we had used it as an escape for him, he had just started guitar lessons. </br>
He was drawn to your tent and went straight to the guitars and started playing – you noticed him playing gave him a gold nugget and invited him to take part in a workshop – Band for a Day. William was so nervous about getting up and performing on the stage and very nearly didn’t go on at all. Your encouragement and praise helped him to be brave, as well as getting Dad up with him and hide behind a speaker. I (his Mum) recorded his performance – good job it was recorded as I couldn’t see for the tears rolling down my face with the emotions that were overpowering knowing what it took my son to stand on that stage and then he did this amazing guitar solo bit and I was in pieces.

William was on a emotional high when he came off the stage, a real turning moment as he realised he could do amazing things with a little bit of courage to face his fears.

So this year 12 months on he’s a different child, he changed schools, had counselling about his feelings and couldn’t wait to show you how he had improved on his guitar. It made his day that you remembered him and his performance and once again gave him another chance to perform.
This year he didn’t need Dad hiding behind the speaker and we stood proud at the front and cheered him on. You were not aware of what William was going through that first year we met you it wasn’t something we spoke about, now William is proud as to how far he has come. Thank you for giving him that chance to make him believe in himself.

Williams Mum


Saxfest

Your workshops really had great feedback from everyone I have spoken to. Believe me, I do know a lot of people around the Town. The workshops showed people from any age what could be done with your expertise in assisting them ‘Live their dream’ of playing something musical, especially at a festival. It was proven by the amount of people who visited you and showing their love of music. I believe you rely on funding as much as we do and I can only say we shall do our utmost to repeat what we did this year in 2016. Your marquee showed professionalism at the best and I will take no hesitation to asking your organisation to come back next year

Terry Barrow, Event Organiser


Parkside PRU

”These guys are great, helping us to become the first PRU in the country to gain Gold Artsmark award”

Stuart Bailey, Head Teacher,


Ryes School

”…a specialist school for children with social, emotional and behavioural difficulties …weekly tuition gave this student not only a valuable experience, qualification and sense of achievement but has also contributed to him being accepted at a prestigious music college”

Mr T Kerr, Head of Education


Stowmarket ASD Saturday Club

The workshop was even better than I thought it would be. Tim and George completely understood what the children needed and were able to bond with the children very quickly gaining there trust. Not only was the workshop fun but the children were able to develop new life skills and achieve small goals.”

Leah Bowers


Callums Mum

Callum has attended Tim Ainslie’s Musica workshops since September 2008. Through Tim’s expert tuition, nurturing and constant support Callum has gained steadily in confidence and self-esteem which in turn has had a positive effect on all aspects of his life. The workshops have helped Callum to engage with his peers, develop a positive attitude towards his studies and motivate him to achieve a high standard in his music ability.

Thanks again, Tim, for providing an invaluable service for young people.

Deborah


STARS

Dear George, Thank you for your attendance at STARS holiday club on Tuesday 25th October 2011.

15 young people enjoyed looking at various instruments, listening to, and making different sounds. I have viewed the photographs of the session, which clearly showed that STARS has some undiscovered performing talents. The young people enjoyed themselves and left the session more confident and full of beans.

Sonia Stephens, STARS