Aikama Music

Reflections on a South Asian Music Programme

Aikama Music

Unveiling Insights from Our Creative Journey: Reflections on a South Asian Music Programme

Our recent project Bombay Elevation journey has been a transformative odyssey, brimming with insights and learnings that have enriched both our team and the participants involved. As we navigate the intricate tapestry of South Asian music and cultural expression, we are delighted to share our reflections and key takeaways from this immersive experience.

1. National Disparity & Family Support:

We ventured beyond our initial scope in Leicester to uncover hidden musical talents across the UK. This expansion unearthed a rich diversity of voices, each with their own unique vision and journey. From London to Manchester, we encountered a spectrum of motivations, skill levels, and family dynamics among our participants. One striking revelation was the profound impact of familial support on an individual’s creative journey. While some, were buoyed by unwavering familial encouragement and belief in their artistic pursuits, others grappled with societal taboos and familial pressures. This dichotomy highlighted the crucial role of support networks in nurturing creative ambitions and overcoming cultural barriers.

2. Interconnectivity:

As our project expanded geographically, we witnessed the emergence of a vibrant community of South Asian music-makers united by a shared passion for artistic expression. The interplay of ideas and collaborations fostered a spirit of camaraderie and mutual support among participants, transcending geographical boundaries. Zoom sessions became a melting pot of creativity, where individuals from diverse backgrounds came together to experiment, inspire, and uplift each other. This interconnectivity underscored the power of collective creativity in driving artistic innovation and growth.

3. Safeguarding Practices & Inclusivity:

As stewards of creative spaces, we recognise the paramount importance of fostering inclusive and safe environments for all participants. Through ongoing reflection and adaptation, we have strengthened our safeguarding practices to better support the evolving needs of young people. Embracing a holistic approach to inclusivity, we prioritise the autonomy and dignity of each individual, respecting their diverse identities and learning journeys. Our commitment to neuro-diversity training and organisational development underscores our dedication to fostering a culture of empathy, understanding, and support for all.

As we embark on the next chapter of our creative journey, we carry with us the invaluable lessons and insights gleaned from this transformative experience. With a renewed sense of purpose and commitment to inclusivity, we look forward to continuing our mission of empowering young artists and nurturing a vibrant tapestry of South Asian cultural expression.

Summary

As we delve into the heart of our creative journey, we’re excited to share some key feedback and anecdotes that shed light on the transformative experiences we’ve encountered along the way.

1. On Co-creation:

Breaking traditions and forging new paths have been at the core of our journey with Bombay Elevation. Our workshop leaders and participants alike have embraced a spirit of experimentation and collaboration, challenging conventional notions of music-making. From exploring found sounds to co-creating musical pieces, every step of the way has been a revelation in redefining how we approach music education and artistic expression.

2. On Participants with Different Learning Needs:

Navigating the diverse needs of our participants has been both a rewarding and enlightening experience. Through tailored support and nurturing environments, we’ve witnessed incredible growth and self-discovery among our participants. From questioning teaching practices to celebrating personal breakthroughs, each individual journey has been a testament to the power of inclusivity and empathy in fostering creative excellence.

3. On Commissions:

Commissioning musical pieces has been a journey fraught with challenges and triumphs. From grappling with personal beliefs and familial expectations to embracing vulnerability and self-expression, our participants have embarked on a deeply personal quest for artistic fulfillment. Through moments of doubt and revelation, they’ve discovered the courage to push boundaries, challenge norms, and carve out their unique musical identities.

As we reflect on the myriad experiences and lessons learned throughout Bombay Elevation, one thing is abundantly clear: our creative journey is far from over. With each new challenge and opportunity, we continue to evolve, grow, and inspire one another. Together, we’re forging a vibrant tapestry of South Asian musical expression that celebrates diversity, innovation, and the power of community.

Note: The insights and reflections shared in this blog are based on the evaluation report of our recent South Asian music programme Bombay Elevation. Names and specific details have been omitted to uphold participant privacy working with vulnerable young adults. The essence and learnings of our journey remain intact.

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