In January 2019,  Make Some Noise began a project with Burton Pupil Referral Unit to bring music making, singing and the spoken word to pupils in extremely challenging circumstances.

The Acting Head of the Unit, Mr Mark Bocker, contacted us to see if there were innovative, engaging ways of bringing music to their young people and the project was made possible with the support and funding of The Music Partnership, a group of the North West Midlands leading quality music education providers and performing companies.

To reach this group a less traditional approach was required and our talented team of professional musicians met this challenge with our bespoke ‘Beatbox Orchestra’ programme, consisting of six sessions delivered over a half-term period. Beatbox Orchestra was initially designed as a tool to encourage smaller groups of up to 15 transition-age pupils to engage in singing, utilising modern looping technology to encourage participants to use vocalisation to build rhythms and melodies that they can then sing or speak over.

In addition to the benefits derived directly from the workshop engagement, including increased confidence and sense of achievement and self-worth, some of the pupils were able to work towards and be accredited with a Bronze Arts Award certification. 

Our team of 2 experienced Make Some Noise Music Leaders, featuring the considerable experience and kudos of Kurly, a spoken word artist, DJ and musician who delivers poetry and hip-hop workshops and multi-instrumentalist and music technologist Mat Dale were enlisted, allowing the participants to fully explore the potential of this art form.

The Burton PRU aims to encourage their students to believe in themselves, to realise their potential and to achieve a successful social and academic future. The partnership with Make Some Noise, worked towards achieving these aims and towards achieving a valuable qualification in the form of the ‘Bronze Arts award’ certification. This was possible because of the significant subsidy from ‘The Music Partnership’ and underlines what working in partnership, and delivering high quality engagement through music and singing, can achieve in bringing lasting and tangible benefit to young people.

Mr Jon Nash, Inclusion support Officer at Burton PRU, said of the experience,

“I just wanted to thank you for agreeing to deliver the Beat Box Orchestra programme for a group of our students and then also to cover the costs for the 2 young people that have completed the Bronze Arts Award during the project. Thanks again for being so patient and flexible with the group they have really enjoyed the project and I believe have taken a lot away from it. They have grown in confidence and self-esteem and for them to be able to experience the project together and have the space to be themselves and talk openly have really benefitted from the peer support.”

Make Some Noise Programme Development Officer John Simmonds said

“We are pleased that our local Music Education Hub recognises the value of our inclusive music provision. With their ongoing commission we have been able to use music technology to support incredible vulnerable students, some of who are dealing with traumatic childhoods such as fleeing gang-related violence. The opportunity to work with this group of students was fantastic for Make Some Noise as it allowed us to provide a creative learning experience with young people who have the most difficulty engaging with education”.

Make Some Noise lessons are about more than music. We are currently offering Beatbox Orchestra for a heavily discounted price of £300*.

If you are already working on a lesson topic, we can incorporate it into the lessons. Our years of experience in education and community work means we are aware of issues and tensions in local communities.

Our team are sensitive to the individual needs of children and will help you to design a programme that’s achievable and realistic. Perfect for your inclusion and specialist units, we can tailor programmes to tackle any issue, including challenging subjects such as Bullying, Racism, Safety online, Drugs and alcohol or Positive relationships.

Click here to download our Beatbox Orchestra brochure.

Beatbox Orchestra is a commissioned project by The Music Partnership, developed and delivered by core partner Make Some Noise. Funding is received with thanks from the Department of Education and the Arts Council England.