MAP (Music Arts Project) CIC is an arts organisation based in Brandon that offers a range of opportunities to young people.

Since 2013, ADeC has supported MAP’s development. In 2014 ADeC managed the ‘MAP – Brandon Development’ project funded by Youth Music and in 2015 ADeC oversaw the Awards For All ‘Pathways to Success’ program delivered by the MAP team.

Below is an extract from the final Youth Music report on the Brandon Development project:

ADeC has worked hard to build this project (and the MAP organisation) upon on firm foundations. The MAP delivery team have signed up to the Youth Music Network and received CPD in first aid, safe guarding training, working with young people with disabilities, working with young people with behavioural issues and Arts Award adviser training.

I started as a volunteer delivering studio workshops and then employed as a weekend technical assistant overseeing and delivering music technology workshops and projects. I have now gone onto part-time employment as a tutor and learning assistant at college.The experience gained from working with Music Arts Project has enabled me to further my career as a music technology tutor by giving me the stepping stone I needed in realising my career path in life.

James Threadwell  (MAP Music Leader)

We are very fortunate to have a number of highly skilled practicing musicians working for MAP. One regular music leader (Pablo Cook)  has worked with Joe Strummer, Madonna and Lily Allen.  He is always open to sharing his skills and experiences with the young participants which is very inspiring for them:

I have learnt a number of important recording lessons when working with Pablo. I have learnt how a recording studio works and how to record software and live instruments. I made MP3s and burned my tracks to a CD. I then passed on my skills.

Liam’s Arts Award Portfolio)

However, we are also keen to ensure that Pablo himself develops. He expressed an interest in developing his skills at delivering to young children with physical and learning disabilities so ADeC arranged for him to deliver sessions at the Highfield Special School in Ely. Pablo found the experience both useful and moving and the feedback from the school was very encouraging:

The tutor was fantastic and was able to engage the children in a variety of different music related activities. All of the children really enjoyed the workshops and the practical activities allowed them to play musical instruments.  It was also really nice to see the parents join in and have fun with their children.

We have witnessed a steady improvement of the skill levels of participants and their feedback continues to be very positive:

I have been coming to Music Arts Project for the last 6 weeks. I used to come on a Wednesday night, then Kevin told me about coming down on a Saturday. There’s lots of other people here and a really good atmosphere, it’s fun and I’m learning new skills at the same time, which will help me later in life. I enjoy the Hip Hop and the Urban Arts, a bit of everything really. Coming here I get to work with people from the industry which is great and get given lots of advice.

Daniel (15yrs)

Coming to the Music Arts Project has opened up opportunities for me, such as meeting other musicians, chances to perform, exploring new instruments and recording too. If I didn’t come down here on a Saturday I would be in bed for half the day! The Music Arts Project is a very positive and friendly environment to be in.

Rueben (14 yrs)

Music Arts Project has given me people skills as I was very shy beforehand. Coming here I’ve developed my guitar playing which has helped move to the next level. If I didn’t come down here I would be laying on my bed playing computer games. It has been such a positive experience for me!

Ashley (14yrs)

In August the MAP staff team received in house Arts Award training from ADeC to become Arts Award advisers at bronze and silver levels. This was immediately followed up with this team working together to deliver a successful ‘Bronze in a week’ summer workshop project. Several young people are helping with tech at live events using the skills they have learnt at MAP tech clubs, two participants have achieved the RSL Level 2 certificate for music practitioners, and one has achieved the RSL extended certificate for music practitioners. One young participant (Adam) is now a key volunteer, working at MAP every week to help with a range of admin and tech tasks. He is also now studying at the City College Norwich taking a live sound and light qualification. These career opportunities provided by MAP were recently highlighted in a local councillor’s report:

This Centre provides a wonderful range of Music and Related Arts instruction and guidance to young people seeking a career in these areas. They have excellent equipment and volunteer instructors. Their work fits in completely with the FHDC commitment to youth and to developing sustainable careers. This work of MAP is essential.

Cllr Warwick Hirst

We are delighted by the success of the Saturday ‘Gateway’ sessions held at the MAP centre. We distribute marketing material (posters, flyers, press releases) across the region and have launched a new website We have developed good quality and consistent branding for MAP activities. This has included, banners, flags and MAP T-shirts and Polo shirts for crew and staff.

MAP and ADeC have instigated the following events and workshops around the community to help build community cohesion through musical activites:

MAP Gateway Sessions (Workshops)

Ashill Primary School (Workshops)

Watton Primary School (Workshops)

Glade Primary School (Workshops)

Wayland Academy (Workshops)

IES Brandon (Workshops, Lessons, Technical advice)

High Lodge Open Days (Workshops & Performances. Over 6000 attendees per event)

Brandon Country Park (Workshops & Performances)

Brandon Leisure Centre (Showcase gigs)

Brandon British Legion (Jamming nights)

Thetford Carnegie Hall (Workshops & Performances as part of Thetford’s Great Festival)

Topcroft Village Fete (Performances)

Wroxfest (Performances)

Mundford Home Festival (Performances)

The Plough Inn, Lakenheath (Wok n Rock Open Mic nights)

Brandon Market Square (Busking – ‘Ghost Buskers’)

I popped in to the MAP show & it looked great, I also received positive feedback from a number of customers/parents. We’ll be happy to host you again.

Nigel Snape (Brandon Leisure Centre Manager)

We are particularly pleased with the strong link built between MAP and the local Wayland Academy school:

I wanted to take the opportunity to reflect on this year’s progress and look towards the next academic year as MAP have been instrumental in raising and supporting the profile of music at the Academy.

The funded sessions have been extremely beneficial to students and have opened up a range of possibilities to students who would not be able to benefit from these sessions. Student feedback has been excellent and throughout the year more students have progressively stopped me in corridors to request these provisions.

(Danny Coates – Head of Creative/Performing Arts - Wayland Academy)

ADeC are delighted with the facility we have been able to help create and the impact it is having in the local community. The challenge now is securing more funding to continue the good work of the project and help secure its future. To help with this we intent to submit further applications to Youth Music who have been so instrumental in helping the project develop to this stage.

This project was followed up by the ‘Pathways to Success’ project. For this project young people learnt a variety of skills culminating in the staging of a public performance.

The following is an extract from the project report:

The project was delivered to 11 core participants. Ten of these successfully passed their Bronze Arts Award in May 2015. Fifteen additional young people were engaged through the project as performers (7), volunteers (3), and young technical mentors (5). In addition 100 people (40 of which were under 25) attended the event which took place at the end of the project.

The difference this project has made to the young people involved has been considerable. The entire cohort was drawn from young people who had been identified as being at risk of becoming NEETs. The group had a number of behavioural and social issues and received little parental support.

The project enabled us to positively engage with these young people over a long period of time. This enabled the young people to develop mutual trust with the MAP staff and allowed them to become comfortable working in a new environment.  The differences in behaviour, confidence and skill development that resulted from this were noticeable. Only one of the initial group failed to complete the course and the commitment the cohort showed to the project was admirable.

The young people were engaged through a variety of arts activities. These included designing, marketing, event management and in some cases performing. All the students also received training in DJ skills which they then shared with others as part of the Arts Award scheme. The Arts Award qualification gave structure to the project and emphasized to the young people how much they had achieved. At the final moderation it was clear how much passing the qualification meant to the group and many could still not believe that they had achieved a national qualification. The sense of pride they displayed was wonderful to witness.

When discussing the project at the end of the course the group admitted that even on the eve of the public show they were convinced they would fail - a reflection of their self-esteem - but following a successful event they could clearly say that they had grown in confidence (especially those who had had to talk in front of the audience). They also all talked repeatedly of how much ‘fun’ the end event had been, an expression which also implied that it had clearly been a rewarding experience of which they were proud.

As a direct consequence of the project, and the training they received, several of the group have now joined the school technical team and have gone on to help at other school and community events.

Below are comments from  those involved which helps illustrate the project’s achievements:

The students were medium to low ability who were thought to be needing a boost to confidence and self-esteem and who have difficulties with communication and working with others. The night was a success, the audience exceeded expectations as did the sum raised for charity. The students took great satisfaction in what they managed to do from a starting point of not having the first idea of what to do, to having bands playing in front of a paying audience. Over a period of 10 weeks, there was an increase in self-confidence, teamwork and initiative across the group.

Peter Dolton - Wayland Academy

The ten young people who participated are all pupils following an alternative curriculum. One aim of the project was to boost their self-confidence and self-esteem. Having viewed the portfolios and having listened to them describe the positive effects of the project on them as individuals; I am confident this proved successful.

Simon Smith - Arts Award Moderator

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