Making music out of junk with Go Volunteer

A self-made piano from recycled materials. Image: Sikora Koźmiński, Phototeam.

Five volunteers from Newcastle University Students’ Union (NUSU) have been partaking in a six-week pilot project to help North East children develop their musical skill.

‘Junk Music’, which has been taking place at Nunsmoor Centre, has seen students from Newcastle University’s ‘Go Volunteer’ scheme sharing their knowledge with children – many of whom have a disability- to help them engage with something completely new.

The project was funded by Newcastle City Council’s Children with Disabilities Department and has achieved great success. The Nunsmoor Trust have submitted applications to funders to be able to run further courses in the near future.

Aimed at 8-12 year olds, ‘Junk Music’ has helped children to make musical instruments out of regular everyday items, which would otherwise be thrown away. The project brought a wide range of abilities together, allowing children with additional needs and/or disabilities to work with their non-disabled peers and share in the joy of making musical instruments from recycled materials.

Alyson Hampshire, chair of The Nunsmoor Centre Trust, commented on its lasting effect:

“This has been a very positive experience for the Trust and, more importantly, has been extremely beneficial for the community we serve.”

“At times the students have led the group, and at other times provided one to one support for the 12 children who have needed it to reach their potential. Without that extra support and input provided by the students, this group could not have taken place.”

Following on from the project, every child is set to receive a CD with which they have contributed. The team are also planning a performance to which families and friends will be invited. Participators noted that there was a real sense of pride as certificates were handed out at the last workshop.

Alyson added:

“We look forward to working with students from Go Volunteering in future Junk Music Projects. The students were hugely beneficial to achieving the aims and goals of the Pilot Project.”

To get involved next year, visit www.nusu.co.uk/govolunteer/involved/internal/junkmusic or email volunteercoordinator.union@newcastle.ac.uk.

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