Our core programme of activity takes place in our partner east London secondary schools.
At present we have seven partner schools, where we deliver weekly sessions with up to 100 students per school. Sessions are led by experienced artist leaders who facilitate creative music-making sessions that develop students’ confidence, creativity, social skills, concentration, individuality and group work. Each school that participates uses the programme to promote their own school community and celebrate their students’ achievements.
Drum Works groups from our partner schools come together for high-profile performances at least twice a year. Students can engage with the project on a long-term basis; progression routes are available through Drum Works senior ensembles and, for those who wish to take it further, through the Drum Works Assistants programme, which provides work placements alongside mentoring and professional development opportunities.
Delivering Drum Works in schools enables young people who may not otherwise have access to something like this to be part of it. We work closely with each of our partner schools to select participants for whom the project will have the most benefit – this might be because they are facing challenging personal circumstances or it might be because they are talented young musicians with no access to formal musical training or with limited ensemble opportunities. Whatever the reason for taking part, all participants come together on an equal footing to make their own music and be part of the Drum Works community.
Our main programme is founded on six key principles:
- Sustained, long-term engagement: participants attend weekly sessions at school and can continue with the project for their entire school career and beyond – this allows the project to impact much more deeply and significantly on their lives than one-off experiences.
- Artistic excellence: our Artist Leaders are all professional musicians working in the music industry and they push the participants to strive for high standards.
- Participant-led content: participants create beats inspired by the music they listen to, music that is relevant to them. Every individual has a voice in the creative process; they have ownership of the project and the work they produce is something they can be genuinely proud of.
- High-profile performance opportunities: our partnership with the Barbican and Guildhall School offers high-profile performance platforms on the Barbican’s main stages and at major festivals and events. Large-scale performances contribute to participants’ sense of achievement and pride in their work.
- Robust progression routes: our senior ensembles and Assistant programme offer built-in progression routes for participants when they are ready, however far they want to take their musical career.
- Individual pastoral support: Artist Leaders forge strong relationships with participants through regular ongoing contact, enabling them to offer individual support and guidance for every participant. They have a very distinct role from school teachers and provide positive role models for participants.
Find out more
We work in partnership with our local east London Music Education Hubs to identify schools where Drum Works will make the most impact. Our partner boroughs are: Barking & Dagenham, Hackney, Islington, Newham, Redbridge, Tower Hamlets and Waltham Forest. If your school is in one of these boroughs and you would like to find out more or be considered for the full programme, please contact us.