Back in 2020, just before the 1st covid lockdown, my wife Laura and I set up a Community Interest Company called 'We Need Music CIC'. Arguably, this could have been a disastrous time to have embarked on a new project that involved working with groups of people, however we weathered the storm well and things have worked out better than we could have ever hoped. Over the past couple of years we have have managed to work with hundreds of people across all ages and walks of life.
Whilst we have both worked with a wide range of people, Laura's work has tended to focus mainly on early years, parents and young carers and I have mainly worked with primary aged children, with teenagers at a pupil referral unit and with adults in a secure NHS psychiatric facility.
PanKind is my main project under We Need Music. I use handpans and various other percussion to connect with people and to inspire creativity mainly through intuitive music making. I also use West African percussion and teach a vast array of rhythms and the stories associated with them from this part of the world.
For the past 2 years I have been based for 2 days per week at at Upton St. James primary school in Torquay working mainly 1:1 or in very small groups with children who are struggling most in the classroom environment. I am currently working with 27 children at this school under our 'Creative Engagement' programme and am hoping to expand this provision to other primary schools in our area soon.
At the other end of the spectrum, I have delivered a number of sessions at the Discovery Centre at NHS Langdon, a secure psychiatric facility in Dawlish. These sessions have been an amazing experience for me, and have led to some wonderful musical engagement with the patients.
Lullabubbas is Laura's main project under We Need Music. She began running her baby groups in Paignton, and has recently started others in Totnes. These sessions are absolutely beautiful (I have had the opportunity to join her for several and even taken our youngest daughter along to them). Laura uses a wide variety of gentle instruments, including harp, handpan, guitar and ukelele and creates a beautiful calm atmosphere where parents and carers can bond with their little ones.
If you would like to find out more about We Need Music please visit us at: