Behind-the-scenes at MAC: What we're up to during our closure

Fri 9 October 2020

While our building remains closed to the public until 2021, we're working hard behind the scenes to prepare for our re-opening. During this time, we're also continuing our important community projects by reaching out to the people who need us the most. 

Here's a few things we've been up to over the last few months...

Make Music Online: Virtual Open Mic

MAC Makes Music have moved their popular Open Mic sessions online! Created for young people aged 13 - 25 years with additional needs, the Virtual Open Mic performance workshops take place on the first Saturday of each month.

The online sessions are hosted by Music Leaders and artists Dan Whitehouse and IRIDIS, and are a great opportunity for young musicians to share their work in a safe and relaxed environment. 

Participants can choose to perform live on Zoom or share pre-recorded video or audio together. We've met some talented performers over the last few months, and explored all kinds of different styles of music. 

It's easy to sign up – just send us an email with a few details here.

Read Youth Music's blog on our Virtual Open Mic sessions here.

Watch our highlights video here.

Returning to Schools: In-person Musical Sessions

We are so pleased that we have been able to get back in to schools to start making music in-person again. It has been a busy few months researching the safest ways to return to the classroom, but we’re really excited about our new approach!

Music Leaders Alex, Nicole and Jimmy converted a secondary school classroom in to a Covid-19-secure workshop space with a range of instruments at individual stations. Students have had the opportunity to try out whichever instrument that interests them, plus learn how to record and produce music on a computer. 

Here’s a recording of one of their first jam sessions. We can’t wait to hear what the students produce by the end of the project!

Music Leader Ann has been visiting primary schools with her multi-coloured music boxes. The boxes are full of different wipe-clean instruments for each participant, so we can avoid 'swapping' and can start to make some really interesting soundscapes together! So far, the students have been very excited that music is back in their timetable.

Doorstep Deliveries: Hidden Voices Musical Activity Packs

Our next round of activity packs has been delivered to the families we’ve been working with at Balsall Heath CATS - an organisation working with children and young people with disabilities and local families.

The first set was very well-received and we have been sent some lovely pictures of the families working together on their 'rainbow shakers'. The latest activity pack features five Musical Postcards and everything you will need to complete the activity, including whistles, kazoos, pens, paints, and even a set of professional drum kits.

You can find out more about the Hidden Voices project here.