THE HOMELESS MUSICIANS
At MEL Productions, we use music to give people who have been or are homeless a chance to be creative. We run numerous music projects and activities from our training centre in Acton, London W3, to support people becoming independent and reintegrate back into the community.
The workshops consist of building instrumental, percussive skills, vocal performance, songwriting, and Music Technology activities. Some of the activities are run by the homeless, allowing them to become independent and be responsible for their roles, allowing them to recognise their purpose in life. We work with our partners to help us deliver and explore a range of musical genres, from classic rock, hip hop, rock, reggae, country folk, electronica, soul and jazz music. These activities are facilitated by experienced community musicians.
Over the last year, 120 young people and adults from a homeless background have participated in the projects. As well as working on live performances, these groups of people have focused on songwriting, creating beats, arranging, producing musical content, writing raps, and making soundtracks.
The Learning and Programme Development Studio Assistant Aaron Claymore said, "These groups play an essential role in a person's recovery, providing both staff and peer support to overcome challenges and become active in the local community. In addition, music is an excellent tool through which to encourage self-expression, give people a voice as well as build their self-esteem and confidence."
A particularly positive outcome of these activities is that when participants get involved or become volunteers, this journey can lead them to gain an Accreditation, an NOCN qualification, leading to further education or gain either part or full-time employment.