Mothers in Music.
The Oh Yeah Music Centre is seeking participants for a project titled ‘Mothers in Music’, a twelve-week song writing progamme designed for female musicians with caring responsibilities.
The project which is supported by the Spirit of 2012 Carers’ Music Fund, aims to provide 15 women that have found it difficult to progress in music due to caring and parenting duties, with an opportunity to reconnect, regain confidence and get back into writing, recording and performance again. The project will involve song writing, music making and studio time. It will also involve a showcase at Women’s Work festival, an annual celebration of women in music, which takes place in June across Belfast. Full consultation will take place with participants at the beginning to assess the needs of the group to ensure any barriers to participation will be removed so that everyone involved can take part with confidence and with support where needed.
The ‘Mothers in Music’ project is one of four separate cohorts of female carers that will take part in a 12 week bespoke programme tailored to each of the groups involved. The other cohorts include a partnership with the Black Box Belfast and their Black Moon and Mini Moon programme, with a second cohort engaging woman from ethnic minority and refugee groups. A third cohort is under way at Newington Day centre with a focus on female carers of loved ones living with Dementia, with this fourth cohort designed to recruit female musicians with parental caring responsibilities.
Charlotte Dryden from Oh Yeah said “When we were developing this project we wanted to bring female carers together that are going through similar experiences, so we decided to split it into four cohorts. And seeing as this programme is about improving wellbeing through music we felt that one of the cohorts should be for musicians themselves. This idea was very much informed by discussions that we were having at our annual Women’s Work music festival around being a mother and working in music. Some of the feedback we received from respondents included better opportunities for mothers to take part. When we saw the Spirit of 2012 application for the very thing we wanted to do, we knew we had to make it happen.”
The Carers’ Music Fund has been made possible by funding Spirit of 2012 has received from the Tampon Tax Fund, awarded through the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS). Carers’ Music Fund projects target women and girls who are lonely and isolated because of their caring responsibilities. These projects engage girls and women in music activities with the aim of reducing loneliness, improving their mental health and wellbeing, and challenging and changing gendered perceptions of and attitudes towards caring. UK statistics show that women make up the vast majority of carers, 72% of those in receipt of carers allowance are women, and parenting duties for infant children are still mostly done by women. Loneliness among carers is extremely high: 8 in 10 say they are socially isolated because of their caring responsibilities, and according to ONS figures carers are 22% more likely to experience mental ill health than the general population.
Ruth Hollis, Chief Executive of Spirit of 2012, said “We’re delighted to be supporting the Oh Yeah Music Centre in Belfast to deliver the Women’s Work project. At Spirit we’re passionate about the power of the arts to bring communities together, break down barriers, and increase happiness. Carers play a vital role in society, but often end up having to give up the hobbies and interests that support their wellbeing, and can become lonely and isolated from others. That’s why it’s great that Oh Yeah are working to reach female carers who have lost touch with their music-making to help them reconnect with their love of music in a supportive group environment.”
For more info and to apply MOTHERS IN MUSIC
Caring for others is hugely rewarding, but it can also be isolating and lonely. We are keen to recruit participants that may be experiencing some of the following:
• A new mother, feeling isolated by parenting responsibilities, or caught between caring for children and
ageing parents or family dependants.
• Musicians as carers with less time than before for music creation that would like to start writing and
• Musicians (including aspiring and emerging) as carers that would like to reconnect, regain confidence,
increase self-esteem and sense of potential through the creative process while in the company of peers and
fellow music makers.
• Participants do not need to be receiving carers allowance to participate in this project and do not need to be live-in or full-time carers.
• This project aims to remove the barriers to participation and so through consultation we plan to ensure that participants will be able to attend as many sessions as possible, benefit from working as a collective group (suitable times/dates etc) and determine whether or not participants require access to alternative provision for any children in their care while they take part.
• The first consultation with participants will take place in February 2020 to determine the needs as well as
any musical levels/background.
• The first of the 12 sessions will take place in March 2020 and be completed by the end of May.
• There is a showcase element for participants that would like to perform that will take place during Women’s Work festival in June.
• During the project we will be required to gather feedback on the project from participants for reporting
If you are interested in taking part please fill in the short form below. All info provided will be kept strictly confidential and for internal purposes only.
Places will be allocated on first come first served basis.