Knowle West Media Centre’s Jump Studios programme provides opportunities for young people aged 10-25 to experiment with music, develop their technical and creative skills, and explore new careers. Below are a selection of stories from young people who have been part of music-making programmes at KWMC.
Alex, 19, first engaged with Knowle West Media Centre when he attended the Sound Wave music retreat in 2019. During the retreat he learned mixing and mastering techniques to help give his music a more professional sound – which he passed on to a friend who also produces music when he got back! The retreat experience also helped him create a musical ‘bucket list’ of things he wanted to achieve and skills to develop further.
Alex says that before the retreat he didn’t engage with many people and wouldn’t share his music with others. He says: “now […] I’m not shy about letting people listen to my music. I can take on feedback and I’m not as critical of myself.”
Josh, 21, got involved in The Male Room – a two-night, three-day retreat that took place in 2019 to support musicians and creatives to develop their craft and examine ideas around modern masculinity.
Josh had recorded an EP before the retreat, but the experience inspired him to record more music and fine-tune what he had already finished. The retreat also provided space for him to experiment with new instruments in a supportive environment. He says: “my main instrument is guitar but I hopped on the bass and tried on keys […] It pushed my skills.”
Since the retreat Josh has become a paid freelance member of KWMC’s Jump Studios team, working with young people to help them develop their skills in arts, media and technology.
Of his new mindset Josh says: “My confidence has grown because when I feel a bit low or anxious I have to remind myself that I did [the retreat] and if I could do that I could do this!”
Elisha first came to Knowle West Media Centre in 2018 when she attended the From Her Tracks retreat – a two-night, three-day experience designed to support young women to develop their musical skills and self-confidence.
She says the retreat helped her to realise that “the presence of someone else’s talent isn’t the absence of mine” – and she’s ‘learning to treat myself as a friend and be kinder to myself.’
After the retreat Elisha went on to create content for a local youth magazine, enrolled on a further music course at KWMC to hone her technical skills, and has performed at music events around Bristol. She’s now planning to get her own equipment and work on an EP or small album.
She says: “I’ve learned to acknowledge my progress. Before I did the From Her Tracks retreat I didn’t actually think that pursuing music or a creative career was an option. It was only after that I thought that this might be worth pursuing.”
Kira, 11, attended the Jump into…Music programme at KWMC during February Half-Term in 2020. During the practical sessions Kira and the other young people in the group experimented with singing and playing instruments, and learned to use music applications including Sound Trap. At the end of the programme Kira performed her original song for the group – singing and playing guitar – while her friend played drums.
Kira enjoyed her time at KWMC, advising others her age to “do it, be confident and get out there!” Jump Studios’ Music lead Mike described Kira as ‘confident and always up for collaboration – the song she made has a great message.’
For more information about music opportunities at KWMC contact Mike on 0117 903 0444 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org
From 2018 to 2020 our music programmes for young people were supported by Youth Music.