How lockdown led to a music studio for young people experiencing homelessness

It was at the end of 2019 that Manwell Wilson began working as a handyman at a homelessness entre for young individuals in London, run by charity Evolve Housing and Support.

” Music is such a great medium to help and support people when it pertains to psychological health and I believed this was an excellent opportunity to do something lifechanging.”

When he identified a disregarded piano throughout lockdown, a handyman at a centre for individuals at risk of homelessness vowed to support their enthusiasm for music

Being a previous singer, among the very first things that caught his attention was the interest that the young adults had in music. “I noticed whenever I walked past a persons room there was music playing. A few of the men were rapping, others were singing however someone was constantly doing something musical,” stated Wilson who is better understood in the centre as Manny.

Set yourself up for a better year, with Positive News publication

New Jan– Mar 2021 concern out now!

” I began to provide lessons to a couple of people and in the next few months people began playing the piano as if they had been playing it for years. They had a genuine natural talent,” he stated.

He had actually identified a damaged and out-of-tune piano in the rec room of the centre in Stockwell, south London. Pressed against a wall, it was mainly neglected in favour of the nearby punching bag, pool table and ping-pong table. But it caught his attention and over the next few months, he made it his mission to restore it.

” A great deal of these kids have actually been through impossible experiences in their life; in many cases, trauma. Having a musical outlet has actually enabled them to discuss things you would not think. Theyve opened about their life stories and how the music is helping them.”

But in March 2020, things took an unforeseen turn when England entered its very first nationwide lockdown. The challenging choice was made to put the job on hold and to briefly close social spaces to limit interactions. Wilson got considering a brand-new method to move the project forward. He chose to produce a recording studio.

Subscribe

” I bought a tuning set, taught myself how to tune the piano and repaired the broken parts. I got it to work as best as I could, and it began to bring in people,” stated Wilson “Before the pandemic I would take a seat and play music on my break. Individuals would join me and ask me questions: it was great to see people wishing to get involved and it started to bring individuals out of the isolation of their spaces.”

By the beginning of 2020, the job was set to formally broaden with counsellors and other colleagues signing up with to support those that were interested. Assistance employees and counsellors saw the effect music was having on these young minds and wished to establish it.

After a while, Wilson chose to purchase a secondhand electronic keyboard and brought that to the centre too. Increasingly more of the young people started to flock to the music sessions.

Having a musical outlet has actually allowed them to talk about things you would not believe, says Manny

Now Wilson and his associate Glen strategy to make the space completely soundproofed. “What I am most thrilled for is the young people embellishing the room and making it their own, when it is safe to do so.

Anybody interested in donating instruments and equipment, or in assisting to fund the project can email organisers on [email protected]

During the 3rd lockdown, he and the youths have corresponded to design and prepare the studio layout. The next hurdle is sourcing equipment.

I purchased a tuning set and taught myself how to tune the piano. I got it to work as best as I could, and it began to attract people

” We dont have any laptop computers, audio user interfaces, mics, guitars or midi controllers,” said Wilson There are people here who have their own YouTube channels, Soundcloud accounts and music videos and I wish to get the studio in as finest a shape as it can be, so I can support these young people with their future musical professions. Thats the vision. Its essential for them to have hope.”

” We just had a few pieces of equipment in the start: an electronic keyboard, electronic drum kit and a couple of amps, but I understood we needed more for when lockdown ended. I visualized a shared space, where individuals could come and express their creativity together, but for that we required a better area. We had actually been utilizing a portion of the rec space, but we needed a specific location that was devoid of interruptions and that we might soundproof.”

Main image: Oleg Ivanov

I envisioned a shared area, where individuals might come and express their creativity together, but for that we required a much better space. “What I am most delighted for is the young people embellishing the room and making it their own, when it is safe to do so.” We do not have any laptop computers, audio interfaces, mics, guitars or midi controllers,” said Wilson There are people here who have their own YouTube channels, Soundcloud accounts and music videos and I want to get the studio in as finest a shape as it can be, so I can support these young people with their future musical careers.

I got it to work as best as I could, and it started to attract people,” said Wilson “Before the pandemic I would sit down and play music on my break. People would join me and ask me concerns: it was terrific to see individuals wanting to get involved and it began to bring individuals out of the isolation of their rooms.”

About the author