Tinderbox Tuesdays is a wee poem about our online Tuesday Hub, written near the start of the lockdown. This is usually our weekly youth club where about 50 children and young people get together to play music and hang out at North Edinburgh Arts, but since the lockdown we have been meeting up online every week for something a bit like an open mic session. It’s been a brilliant way of keeping in touch in this time and great fun and uplifting too.
Youth and Community
A song made by a group of young students from different ethnic backgrounds, with a deep meaning about their lives, their traditions and what is expected of them.
The lyrics and music were written, composed and produced by Ali, Jay, Elijah, Femi, Ken, Arnav, Derek and Rakib.
Lyrics performed by Ali & Jay.
The project was a collaboration with Action for Children Heritage and Inclusion Project.
Another term of the Tuesday Hub at North Edinburgh Arts is in full swing! Now in its 6th year, the Hub brings together young people aged 10-18 with a team of tutors for the opportunity to try learning instruments, singing, song-writing, rapping… and sometimes even dancing!
This term we’ve been working on some great songs – Someone You Loved by Lewis Capaldi, Thunder by Imagine Dragons and I Wanna Dance With Somebody by Whitney Houston. It’s been fantastic to see so much enthusiasm and talent, both from our regulars and from those who have come for the first time this term. Some highlights include:
- Rhys, Sarah, Claire and Megan forming a tutor band to perform a jazzed up version of Umbrella by Rihanna.
- A crowd of 10 young people spontaneously jumping to the stage to dance along to Mark* singing Giant by Calvin Harris.
- Our volunteer Matthew helping participants try out vocal sampling on the iPad and performing with this in the song Thunder.
- The bass guitar section showing off having learnt to play the Thomas the Tank Engine theme.
Here’s to many more musical adventures to be had before our end of term performance on 31st March at North Edinburgh Arts. Bring it on!
The Hub runs from 6-8pm at North Edinburgh Arts in Muirhouse on Tuesdays during term time. All 10-18 years are welcome to drop in, regardless of musical experience. Come along and join the fun! – Jenny, Tinderbox Hub Lead Tutor.
“What an experience it was to visit the Scottish Parliament for the Universities Scotland event to showcase the ways in which univerisies around Scotland are engaging with their local communities. We were invited by the Edinburgh University Local fund to talk about the projects that they have supported us to deliver; our Tuesday Hub and our new Digital Workshops series. For most of us it was our first visit to the Parliament and a very memorable experience. We had a good chat with the Cabinet Secretary Kate Forbes and also the Deputy First Minister, John Swinney. Hoping they’ll both be down to the Tuesday Hub sometime to join in with the open stage. We were also shown around the chamber by the Rector of University Of Edinburgh, Ann Henderson. It was fascinating to hear about all the meaning behind the details of the design of the chamber and to see Ann’s passion for democracy and education and her encouragement for us to make the most of the opportunities we have.” – Jed Milroy
Jed, Luci & Elek have been working alongside the young people at Howdenhall and getting creative is all sorts of ways!
Luci has been working with the ‘Springimajig’ (home made touch synthesizer). They are also building their own synths & designing their own platform game.
Jed has been helping them to compose a piece for the orchestra using the ‘Medley’ app. Pupils have also been producing their own tracks using the ‘Launchpad’ app – styles ranging from drum & bass to deep house.
Elek has been writing rap with them. Themes include: food, football, differences between Scotland & America and modern-day youth/gang culture. Next week they will unite music and lyrics & modify where necessary!
Thanks to Howdenhall staff who are always so welcoming & helpful, and the Howdenhall young people – creating a terrific variety of music & lyrics & expressing their individuality!
During the October break Jed, Sam, Niki, and Rob went along to play some tunes for the happy smiling faces at the multicultural family base autumn ceilidh. It was great to have such a decent turnout and possibly the youngest audience and most rounds of musical chairs, statues, and bumps that we’ve ever played for!
Amazing Harmonies is a community music group for children (generally aged 5-15) in North Edinburgh born out of the adult community singing group of the same name. Twice a month the group has been gathering to learn instruments and to prepare a dazzling performance for their upcoming Christmas concert at North Edinburgh Arts on Thurs 19th December. The children are in no way lacking in enthusiasm and determination to learn – and we have been having fun both with music and with games!
– Christy Ringrose, Lead Tutor
We’ve spent the last few weeks hanging out at Granton Youth Club making some music and teaching instruments. It’s great to see that a lot of the participants are keen to get involved with being creative, wether that means writing a song about Lidl (which did happen!), singing their favourite song with a tutor accompanying them or just listening to music whilst they do some arts and crafts. We’ve even had a couple of GYC participants coming to the Tue hub at North Edinburgh Arts, which is amazing!
We’re very much looking forward to the next session!
– Rhys Gilchrist, Guitar Tutor
Over the October break we help two drop in demo sessions with a bunch of the instruments at the Muirhouse Instrument Library. We had lots of young people trying out trumpets, guitars, keyboards, clarinets, violins, saxophones, and accordion!
At the moment we’re working on building up our stock of instruments at the library and are looking for musical instrument donations.
If you would like to donate an instrument to the Muirhouse Instrument Library please get in touch with us at <firstname.lastname@example.org>
“And so we’ve reached the end of Tinderbox Sparks for this year. It’s been a group who have lived up to the name. Full of ideas and creativity. Wild improvisations and a very unusual group composition about a flying pig who saves us all. Check out this video of the ensemble playing ‘Rather Be’.” – Jed (Tinderbox Manager)
Here’s part of a report on our project at Howdenhall from their resident music specialist Gavin Wiltshire. It has been absolutely fantastic to work with him on this project. Thanks to the YMI for making the connection and funding the work.
Tinderbox members from a plethora of disciplines worked alongside Howdenhall’s resident music / music technology specialist to deliver a programme of intensive, engaging, challenging and interactive music workshops. Steered entirely by the young people – participants took ownership of their project, being immersed in the creative environment – networking with and instructing professionals, communicating ‘at their level’ and expressing themselves whilst gaining core skills in the music performance, composition, music technology and music production – to create a product that was tangibly their own.
Why did we do it?
Each young person is present at the school because A) they or their families are a risk to themselves or to others B) they have been intercepted on a trajectory of criminality and C) the criminal justice system is waiting for the young person to reach the age where they could be trialed as an adult and then sent to prison for their respective offence(s).
The young people attending the school at any given point are often some the most at risk members of society, with the cost to shelter, educate and care for the highly bespoke needs of each young person, per year – running into several hundred thousand pounds.
In the very nature of the school, it is negative circumstances that have led the young people to be where they are, but stakeholders from all areas of life – Police, social work, family support units, the NHS and beyond who all have a vested interest in seeing positive outcomes from these young people, and as such – the potential impact of a programme such as this – a tactical deployment of musicians at the top of their game – punches far beyond its weight in terms of reach, value money, and future impact on society.
How did it go?
The impact of the project was broad and deep, and is best measured against the specific situation of each participant, case studies below:
Young person (A) suffers from profound mental health issues, frequently self harms and struggles to engage in most classes – often storming out of classes and needing restrained. Young person (A) did not want to engage in music making per say, but instead interview each of the visiting musicians, asking them questions about their life – and combined with recordings of them playing their instrument, created a sound collage. Young person (A) also photographed the instruments / performers for her use in the art class and really enjoyed having new material to work with. I was hugely impressed at the positive attitude young person (A) displayed in every session, asking relevant questions and showing a genuine interest, not having to leave the classroom even once – showing real confidence and comfort in the environment, when in the past adapting to new situations and people has proven difficult.
Young person (B) has complex learning difficulties and suffers from ADHD. He struggles to focus and contain his energy and is obsessed with his iPad. Young person (B) took to the project like a duck to water, immediately adopting the dual roles of producer / engineer – calling the shots and communicating his ideas to the musicians clearly, and with passion – whilst handling all of the technical processes, setting up the microphones and operating the recording software. Young person (B) became visibly more relaxed and was delighted at the end result – an orchestral reinterpretation of his favourite video game soundtrack.
Going far beyond music – Tinderbox engaged and integrated into the critical STEM (Science, Technologies, English and Maths) classes with workshops on hardware synthesis, circuitry and game sound design – demonstrating the application of music based skills in the non musical environment.
The project proved not only therapeutic to the individual, but fostered communication and interpersonal skills, stimulated a broad range of conversations, empowered the participants to speak up and speak out – gave confidence and showed the young people involved a few different outlooks on life, with new faces and other ways of thinking. Cumulatively the overall trajectory of the lives of the young people involved has been downwards, that is why they are at the facility. Although it is impossible to know whether had these young people been exposed music and the arts at an earlier age, if their situation would be different, but we believe we have had a positive impact on this trajectory, and have been there for the bounce.
It was great to work in partnership with Sound Festival to help to kick off the Sound Collective over the last few months. We met a whole bunch of enthusiastic and talented community musicians who are working with a range of young people in the Aberdeen area.
There have been 3 creative hubs who have been doing songwriting, instrumental tuition and musical experimentation.
We helped them to bring it all together for a very upbeat performance at the opening of the newly refurbished Aberdeen Music Hall.
What an amazing building. Very much hoping to be back there with the rest of the Tinderbox Collective at some point.
A new challenge for some of the Tinderbox Orchestra. Rise Kagona, a founding member of Zimbabwe’s Bhundu Boys, dropped us straight into Misodzi Pamatama (“Tears On My Cheeks”) for his workshop with us. Thanks to Multi-Culti and the Womad Foundation for making it happen.
It was a fantastic first Tuesday Hub of the year for Tinderbox at North Edinburgh Arts tonight. An age range of 4 to 25! So much talent and enthusiasm. Great to see everyone sharing the good vibes. Looking forward to the whole term, especially our gig at Central Hall for ‘All Wrapped Up’ on 13th December, raising funds for Edinburgh Children’s Hospital Charity. Bring it on!
We’ve had a wonderful time making music with our friends at Big Noise Douglas. Together we’re learning about improvisation and game music, and will be playing a collaborative concert as part of NEON festival on the 8th November (more info here).
Check out this video from one of our workshops in Dundee!
It’s that time of year again. The leaves are turning, the nights are drawing in. What better place to keep warm than the Tinderbox Tuesday Night Hub at North Edinburgh Arts from 6 till 8 every Tuesday from 23rd October until 18th December. Here’s our seasonal vid to get you in the mood..
We kicked off our YMI project at Howdenhall this term performing with a lineup of cello, mandolin, drum kit, oboe and MC. An unusual combination!
It seemed to go down well with the pupils and staff at the school.
Each of us musicians will be visiting the secure unit over the coming months to take part in a huge recording project headed up by the pupils and overseen by the fabulous Gavin Wiltshire, music specialist and workshop deliverer with ‘Heavy Sound’.
Luci Holland will also be offering Synth Building and Game Design tasters as part of the project.
We’re looking forward to hearing what comes out of it at the end.