SoCo Music Project were recently asked to deliver a holiday music engagement programme for young people as part of The ICE Project, a partnership between Hampshire Cultural Trust & Hampshire Child and Adolescent Mental Health Service (run by Sussex Partnership NHS Foundation Trust), promoting the use of arts for positive mental health.

The overall aims of the The ICE Project are:

  • To use arts & culture to promote positive mental health; raise self-confidence and self-esteem and inspire other young people
  • To create an outlet for young people to creatively share their experiences and opinions
  • To use art in its various forms to create a conversation that improves understanding, compassion, people’s views and knowledge of the subject
  • To give vulnerable and at-risk children and young people the chance to experience and participate in extraordinary arts and culture

We sensitively crafted and delivered a series of music sessions that were designed to not only educate and inspire, but to enable interpersonal relationships between our participants to form and flourish. As always, our approach holds our participants at the heart of its design, and we delivered activities that took into consideration our participants needs, their musical interests and challenges that they may be facing in relation to their mental health. We ensured that these activities would gently challenge and empower them whilst developing them both musically and personally, providing a creative outlet for expression.

Sessions explored creating music compositions using music technology apps on iPads, drumming exercises, Songwriting, poetry and lyric writing and singing exercises. To create a safe and supportive environment whereby participants felt confident and happy to explore and discover their own musicality and to take creative risks, we introduced various music games, which we used as icebreakers to help relax the group and to teach participants useful music terminology.

Our participants’ confidence increased as their familiarisation with the others in the group, and the music leaders grew. This enabled them to engage whole-heartedly. A culture of respect and honesty was present throughout the sessions, which encouraged strong peer support amongst our participants, and friendships to blossom. They crafted some wonderful music compositions, which can be heard in these recordings:

Reflection time in the sessions fostered exploration of positive expressions from the young people about their experiences, with them seeing untapped musical creativity emerge and them having a heightened awareness and understanding of how music had been and could continue to be a tool for self-expression.

Some quotes from our participants:

“I feel very proud of what I created and I didn’t know I could achieve this”

“I felt able to open up and stay true to myself. I felt valued, I didn’t have to change myself to fit in”

“I felt I belonged in this workshop and participated. I worked well with everyone”

For more information about SoCo Music Project visit and for more information about The ICE Project visit

The ICE Project is co-funded by Artswork, Hampshire CCG and the Coles-Medlock Foundation.

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