Cultural exchange through musical activities can support communication and collaboration among young people. This can be useful within migrant communities who struggle to find a common background or language to connect with each other. The Beat Exchange is a project aimed to develop musical confidence, community skills and empowerment among young people from migrant communities in London. The project also served as a platform for the Pumpkin Jigsaw team to strengthen skills in developing and delivering youth-centered projects.
We began the project by running consultations with a) band members, and b) young people, teachers and organisers from project partners: The Baytree Centre and Action for Refugees in Lewisham. Consultations served to tailor musical workshops to the needs of these distinct partners. Following this, we delivered seven music workshops attended by over 25 young people in Lambeth and Lewisham boroughs. The workshops covered various musical aspects including rhythm and drumming, singing, dancing, storytelling and composition. We observed evidence of the success of the project. Participants and facilitators also gave verbal and written feedback, including important advice for future improvements to the project.
In this project, musical expression supported dialogue amongst young people from diverse backgrounds. We are very excited to be developing ideas for follow-on projects with our partners Action for Refugees in Lewisham.
This project was funded by the Sound Connections Impact and Innovate funds. We thank them for all of the help and support they gave us for this project.
Audio file: Journey to The Moon made by the young people at Action For Refugees in Lewisham