We are very grateful that we have been able to work with Youth Music over the last 3 years. Between 2017 and 2019 we delivered a music focused project which provided opportunities for young people to develop their skills around the Indian Dhol drum and African Djembe drum. We built upon the success of the initial project and were funded in 2019 for another 2 years for the Community Dhol Beats project. We think it’s important that culturally diverse music genres are available locally, particularly in North Kent which has the largest diverse population in the county and also the highest concentration of residents with links to the Indian Sub-Continent.
Since the launch of the Community Dhol Beats project in the spring of 2019 we have managed to work with on average 30 young people a week through the weekly sessions; run a successful summer club as well as providing opportunities for young people to perform and showcase their talents at a number of community festivals in Kent.
In addition 159 young people have also been awarded Arts Award at Discover level and prior to the coronavirus outbreak we were due to start work on the Explore and Bronze levels. The feedback from the young people and parents to date has been very positive and to us highlights the importance of diverse musical provision.
In the current climate with Brexit and the subsequent economic uncertainty, the provision of free music lessons in the heart of the local community are vital as a means of providing opportunities for young people, especially those from disadvantaged backgrounds. From our experience, although there are musical education hubs, they do not provide sufficient opportunities for young people to learn culturally diverse musical genres. In the next stage of the project we will be looking to get young people accredited at Discover, Explore and Bronze levels as well as sharing further content on our social media channels of the progress that has been made.
Gurvinder Sandher, Artistic Director commented, “We are very grateful to the ongoing support provided by Youth Music. The Community Dhol Beats Project highlights the demand for free culturally diverse music provision in North Kent. I am really pleased that we have been able to provide this service to the local community and would