We’ve just provided a little help that will make a big difference to 16 young musicians.

Under lockdown, these young people have lost access to equipment, and expertise that has meant they were stuck, unable to be as creative as they wanted to be.

We’ve redirected some of the budget, that we should have spent on our Masterclasses, into small grants of equipment and music lessons. We’ve even had volunteer helping to fix a hopelessly out of tune guitar. Whatever we can do to help people get unstuck.

School music lessons, and instrument classes provided affordably through school have stopped, so reconnecting young people to a regular activity, and giving them a chance to learn through private lessons should see them through to when schools return in September.

Small bits of equipment, like a microphone, and audio interface, or midi keyboard are enough to get many of the young people into a position to record at home. This is a key skill for today’s musicians, and access to equipment is a real issue.

Here’s what the young people had to say about the help they have received…

“Had first vocal lesson today. Went well. Enjoyed . Did some scales and breathing exercises. Thank you BCB for organising.”

“[…] has a weekly drum lesson at school but obviously hasn’t had one since the schools closed. He would really benefit from it…”

How will you benefit from gear?
“I’d be using it for performing from home and recording my own songs.”

“I’d use it for solo projects such as solo EP id use it with my Band id also use it to record and produce other artists and maybe create some podcasts in the future but I would mostly be using it for music recording on the go and at home.”

“I’d like to use any equipment provided for me to record from home and to also help me become more comfortable with recording and producing.”

“I’d use it for composing my own music and getting my ideas down all in one place.”

“I’d like it because it will be crucial in honing in my production skills while at home. I’d have the ability to record instruments instead of just sequencing so it would help my mixing.”

Why do you need this gear?
“I’ve got a mic, but I can’t record my electric guitar from home, so this interface is just what I need”

“Stuck in the house, I haven’t been able to create at all, but now I can”

“I use Reaper and it requires an audio interface, so I was stuck without it. Being able to record with instruments will allow me to mix and use VSTs and so on.”

“The only thing I had was a mic stand, nothing else! To have this to record with is really handy.”

“I’m a vocalist and I don’t have a mic!”

“I can use this equipment to put down music I’ve created and record it.”

“I can use the equipment to record some songs and finally get them done. I used to use college equipment but I can no longer access that.”

“I’d love to have my music out there. I express my emotions and feelings through music, but I didn’t have any equipment until now.”

“The plastic microphone I use was just not up to the job. Now I’ll be able to belt it out in my bedroom!”

Equipment

Most people just needed one or two items. The bulk of the equipment came from the following list.

Microphone package: AKG P120 Condenser mic, stand, cable, and pop shield

Audio Interface: Behringer UMC2020HD

Headphones: Behringer HPX4000

Midi Keyboard: M-Audio Keystation 49 MKIII USB Controller

Published by David Carpenter

Youth Development Worker at BCB Radio

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