Along with regular meetings, Leicestershire Music have been putting on Open Mic Nights around Leicester to provide a performance platform, enable them to share their talents and have a voice!
We want young people to help shape our music making opportunities and in turn want to help them fulfil their musical potential either through Leicestershire Music or our partner groups.
Here' s a taster of what you can expect from our Open Mic Nights.
This one took place in March 2023 and featured a wealth of local talent - We're currently putting together a run of dates for the 2023 / 24 Open Mic nights and will post information here and on socials as soon as dates / venues are confirmed.
What are LM Open Mic Nights? - Cool as Leicester Interview
INTERVIEW: Leicestershire Music launches new open mic night for young people
For young people interested in music, don't miss a brand new open mic session launching that is aimed at those aged 14 – 25. Based at 2Funky Music Cafe and organised by Leicestershire Music, we caught up with them to find out more about it as well as their other projects.
How would you introduce the new open mic night that you are launching?
This is an open mic night with a difference. It's an open mic event, for young people, by young people. Over the last couple of months, I have established a youth voice group that meets regularly to discuss what they want from a music provider in Leicester and Leicestershire. One of the requests was a chance to perform and share music without the pressure of a huge audience. So that is what we have created. It is a chance for young people to step into a safe space and share their creativity, which everyone has, and to be supported and celebrated without judgement.
What makes it different to other open-mic events?Fundamentally, the intended difference is that this is truly inclusive, across-the-arts open mic. It's not solely for musicians. We welcome poets, dancers, artists, and fashion designers. A range of creativity all in one place. I believe that music plays a part in almost every aspect of life, so to bring that together, and share our creativity, through music or other means, is a great opportunity for learning and growing. We are also championing young creatives from the age of 14 -25. We are promoting inclusivity, diversity and equality, and as such will be hosting an alcohol-free event, to ensure that everyone who is attending feels safe and can be fully present.What type of artists can get involved? (skill level, age, genre etc?)
As mentioned, I would love to welcome a wide range of artist, and collaborators, from instrumentalists to signers, DJ's, MCs, dancers, poets, artists who have recorded their music but may feel they don't wish to perform, we would love to hear your music and celebrate your achievements, artists. If it's creative, we want to include it. You don't have to be at a high standard, absolutely not. Your attendance is what's important. We are also offering support before the 25th of April, so if you feel you would like to work with other creatives, then we have 2 sessions, hosted at Soft Touch Arts, New Walk, Leicester. I know how it feels to question yourself, but I promise you, the culture we are creating is one of acceptance and celebration. Not judgment and shame.
What made you choose 2Funky Lounge as the venue?
I have been seeing and hearing good things about the work that 2funky is doing, and I wanted to tap into that. I know that they support local artists too, and it is great to work closely with the team there. The professional environment, with the stage, the lightning and the sound engineers all help to create this experience for the young people that I know will be so positive and will inspire other young people to give it a go. It's about providing an opportunity that is more than usual. Offering a bit extra, you know?!
Tell us a little more about Leicestershire Music?
Well, Leicestershire Music is celebrating its 75th year of music education this year. We are based at County Hall and offer a wide range of musical tuition throughout Leicester and Leicestershire. Many of our lessons take place in schools and colleges, and I'm confident that many of the readers will know someone who has been involved with LM at some point. The instrumental lessons in schools include - the ukulele, djembe, steel pans, violin, brass, singing, guitar, drums and recorder, turntablism and more. We also have bands, orchestras and other groups that meet regularly throughout term time, for both beginner and more advanced players. New members are always welcome!
What made you want to get involved with Leicestershire Music Youth Voice?
I wanted to showcase my voice in some way so it was a good opportunity.
What was your involvement with LM youth voice? (Meetings (Space Centre or Soft Touch)/ De Montfort Hall stage interview/ Open Mic performances)
An open mic and a recording session.
What was your expectation and were they met?
to support me and they were definitely met!
Were you made to feel included/valued/seen/heard/respected? If so how, if not how can we improve:
whenever I interact with Leicestershire Music they welcome me with open arms and the utmost amount of support and respect.
Your comments. (please use this space to share your reflections on the youth voice programme)
they continue to offer me opportunities for performances and exposure
Impact of the Youth Music IDEA project on Youth voice in Leicestershire Music
Youth Voice Launch at the Space Centre 30.01.23
Case study: Child M - A young woman, who is currently moving into semi-independent living, with the support of Leicester Carers.
Child M has had negative experiences in education settings and expressed a dislike for schools, teachers and educational institutes. She took a courageous step in attending the Youth Voice launch event at the Space Centre and the taxi fee being covered was a huge part of getting her there.
She explained that she doesn't like meeting new groups, and feels self-conscious that she will be judged. She has little to no experience in music-making but enjoys listening to rap, having written some of her own lyrics, but was adamant that she does not wish to share them. Her self-esteem is low and she feels that her lyrics are 'rubbish', she wanted to protecting herself from any criticism.
Group discussions: ground rules were set at the beginning of the session and the facilitator spoke of respect and listening to others and being non-judgemental. A safe space was created where all YP could be themselves and share their views. Child M could see and hear a collection of people who are working together and for one another, without judgement and negativity. She seemed to relax and she found a confidence to express herself within her group.
At the end of the session child M shared with the facilitator that she only feels confident sharing her raps when she has consumed drugs or alcohol and at the end of the session Child M said that 'actually, I do sing a bit too'. This is something that will be supported and championed with the group as it develops and becomes more integrated with the work of Leicestershire Music.
The LM Youth Voice lead has developed strong links with Leicester Carers and this work is developing via the Youth Voice group.