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.
Here’s a track produced on this project: https://soundcloud.com/goodvibrations-org/tramp
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.
Blossom House School
In 2019 we ran a Loophole Music session at Blossom House School in South West London, a specialist independent school for children with speech, language and communication difficulties. We worked with groups of 17 and 18 year olds who were working towards gaining skills to help them take a step into adult life. Our workshops were aimed at supporting them to develop:
- Non-verbal communication and listening skills
- Trust in their ideas and creative contributions to a group activity
- Confidence and pride in their achievements
- Musical skills
We focused on using iPads and mini, portable recording studios in these sessions, using simple, multi-sensory software such as Kaossiccilator and Garageband to support students to make tracks together, even if they have little musical experience.