Projects / Roots, Boots and R'n'B

Roots, Boots and R'n'B

In celebration of Black History Month 2010, Music for Change delivered this free project for 8-16 year olds in partnership with Medway Council’s Arts Development Team. The workshops took place at The Brook Theatre and were led by Music for Change’s professional and experienced artists. Shereece Storrod of Black-British vocal group Black Voices taught the children about the history of R’n’B, vocal techniques and songs. Ghanaian drummer George Fiawoo taught the children the tradition of storytelling through music, rhythm and actions. Lucky Moyo introduced the children to gumboot dancing and the history of its origins from the mines of South Africa. Participants also learned amazing circus skills with Emmanuel Okine.

The project aimed to engage young people in fun and educational musical and multi-cultural activities, while giving them an insight into diverse cultures and Black History. The workshops improved the young people’s knowledge and appreciation of world music, as well as developing their personal confidence and giving them a chance to engage with dance and music styles they had not experienced before.

We also organised special outreach workshops, led by Caribbean artists H Patten and Alexander D Great.  H told magical stories at Smiley Steps Conductive Education Centre at the Cerebral Palsy Centre in Cliffe Woods and also for looked-after children and their carers at Strood Library. Alex facilitated lively Calypso singing and song-writing sessions with children from Medway African and Caribbean Association at their Saturday School.

We worked with over 150 children and parents from right across Medway during this special project, which was generously funded by the Medway Targeted Youth Support Fund through Medway Council Extended Services.

We offered the free project to children and young people through YISP (Youth Inclusion Support Panel), FASST (Family and Schools Support Team), LAC (Looked After Children’s Team) and Social Services, as well as organising the special workshops for groups of children who would benefit particularly greatly from exposure to such high quality, diverse arts activity.