At Loophole Music we work with everyone, from experienced musicians to complete beginners. These weekly sessions cover a range of skills including songwriting, music technology, acoustic jamming, production, recording and promotion.
We offer a mixture of one-to-one and small group sessions. Participants might improvise together to make a brand new song and record it live on the day, or someone might bring a piece of music, rap or lyrics they’ve been working on and get help to produce and record it. We encourage participants to become confident in their songwriting and creative ideas, and support them develop skills and techniques to record and promote their own music, including creating professionally produced CDs and press packs. It’s exciting to see people who have lost confidence in themselves to find self-expression and often create outstanding music.
If you can get adolescents to express that much interest in a session it is a good session to have. Some of our young people have difficulty expressing interest in basic things in life so anything that lights them up is a plus to them and us as a staff team.
Donna Offen, South London and Maudsley NHS Foundation Trust, 2017
Bethlem Royal Hospital
We have been running Loophole Music sessions for many years at the Royal Bethlem Hospital. This is a psychiatric hospital in South East London, supporting people experiencing mental illness, either as in-patients or community patients. Some of the patients we support here are forensic patients, meaning they have been convicted of an offence, relating to their mental health condition.
Through Loophole Music, we support patients to:
- Continue to develop their personal recovery aims through the creation of music
- Develop vocational skills
- Develop transferable skills and attributes that are central to their well-being, social participation and desistance from crime
- Ease their transition from hospital to community
Participants develop their skills through a relaxed, non-didactic experience, and each musical activity is bracketed by group feedback to encourage positive assessment of what’s going well and what may need further development.
Listen to a track produced on this project.
We continue to support participants as they transition from hospital into the community – a time when there is a high risk of them relapsing or re-offending. Participant feedback shows that our courses connect with them and motivate them to progress onto further learning, so we harness this and offer all participants the option of joining join our Keep in Touch programme.
Time – a short film about the process involved in making music
Throughout the Covid-19 pandemic, Loophole Music has adapted to running 1-to-1 sessions at Bethlem Royal Hospital, which some participants prefer to the usual group work. Watch Tony, Kieran and Bison create an original song from scratch in one of these sessions. Written and recorded in lockdown 2020, they collaborated on an aptly named song about ‘Time’.