“White Hut Studios delivered music production sessions in six different locations during Croydon Youth Engagement Team’s summer programme of activities for young people. The sessions were led by the afrobeats artist, Silvastone and delivered jointly with Miriam Thomson.
Young people were invited to talk about musical genres as a starting point. Having established their preferences in that regard, discussion around issues affecting their lives led to emerging themes – which were used as a basis for lyrical composition. Miriam led young people through vocal exercises to help them find their voices as singers, before the lyrics were set to an initial beat with the guidance of Silvastone. Plenty of singing practice took place while the structure and layers of the beat were developed using both keyboards and Logic Pro music production software.
After several run through exercises, the singing and music were brought together and recorded. The final product was played back to each group – who typically responded with disbelief that they were capable of such polished, professional products.
Participants included young people from marginalised backgrounds and communities with an array of needs. The skilled team from White Hut Studios met this challenge with warmth and enthusiasm – ensuring that young people benefited from a sense of achievement and increased self-esteem.
The following short case study relates to a particular young person who attended the final park session at Queen’s Garden on Friday 1stSeptember 2017.
He had previously been seen to sleep in Queen’s Garden (housing status unknown) and has visible learning needs. Silvastone and Miriam worked with him incredibly well and provided him with a safe/welcoming environment. He felt sufficiently comfortable to write lyrics and use it as an emotional outlet to express himself.
He recorded his song on the mobile music studio and showcased it at the end of the session – the response from those gathered in the park was loud and joyous. It is a testament to the skilled White Hut Studios team that a previously chaotic and marginalised young man engaged so intently, despite the presence of his associates who have a troubled relationship with alcohol – a fitting end to a fantastic series of Summer workshops.”