Making Tracks was a programme aimed at introducing young people to Music Technology. Funded by the Foundation for Youth Music, under their Plug into Music Programme, Norwich Learning City SRB and the Foundation for Joanna Scott, from September 2004 to January 2005 we provided free after-school sessions for young people who wanted to learn how to use music technology to create their own music. The programme was delivered in courses of 5 weekly sessions, covering the use of Reason and Cubase, the use of keyboard and sound modules, and the recording of ‘live’ sounds, along with the whole process of how to write a song. A strongly practical programme, participants went away with completed music on CD and over 100 pieces of music were created over the lifetime of the project.
Making Tracks was particularly directed at 8 to 14 year olds, so we worked mostly through Middle Schools. Because they represent the most disadvantaged areas of Norwich, and because Norwich Learning City SRB provided support funding for the project, the schools we chose to work with are mostly either in, or drew heavily on, the Norwich Learning City SRB areas.
In addition to after-school sessions we ran subsidised workshops over school half-terms and four week-long summer-schools, one in April 2005 and three in July / August 05. In June 2005 and March 2006 we held showcases, giving project participants the opportunity to play the music they have created to the public, the second of which look place at the Norwich Arts Centre.
The programme was a huge success. We worked with 196 young people of which 81% were experiencing music technology for the first time. 52% of participants were girls and 98% of participants said they would like to get involved further in music technology.