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What is Musical Connections?

Musical Connections is an established creative music-making network for adults who consider themselves isolated, lonely, vulnerable or marginalised as a result of their personal circumstances or specific needs. The project offers members across Birmingham, Solihull  & Sandwell FREE creative music making activities to help connect with others and support wellbeing. Musical Connections was highly commended in the Art, Mental Health & Wellbeing category of the National Positive Practice Awards in 2015 & was a shortlisted National Lottery Good Causes Awards finalist in 2016.

Why Music?

Music is amazing - it can help change our mood and reignite memories; it can help us keep learning, develop personal skills and gain success; it can help us express our emotions and feelings in a safe space and it can help connect us and make us feel important as part of a band and community.

Musical Connections has received excellent praise for the outcomes it has achieved, using music as a tool to create positive change - reducing isolation & improving wellbeing.

The case studies on this page, plus the 'Impact' section of our website show the difference that the project can make.

The Programme

New members receive a series of one-to-one sessions across their first year, to build their skills and confidence.

All members can access group music sessions, run by experienced, friendly and supportive musicians covering different musical tastes.  We also have some online sessions.

Our Music Support Worker offers additional individual and small group sessions for longstanding members. He supports members to form new bands and helps groups start out on their performance journey, assisting them to perform at local supportive open mic nights.

Each year we create some brilliant, eclectic new music and share this on SoundCloud and in our memorable MC gigs. 

Our Members

Members, whatever their age, background, specific needs or musical ability will access a safe environment where they are made to feel valued, accepted and can discover the freedom to express more of who they truly are, alongside being able to develop themselves artistically.

We believe in the strong link between physical and mental health and understand that they can impact on each other. For this reason, our sessions are open and inclusive to people with a range of access needs. We believe in the social model of disability - aiming to remove barriers to allow all to participate equally.

Members are fully involved in every aspect of Musical Connections and evaluation is embedded into the project. Members set their own wellbeing aims and goals through the project and measure their progress. We have a members' advisory group and peer volunteer roles and several project volunteers and staff have lived experience of managing mental and physical health conditions. See the 'Who's Who' section for more information. 

Some Background

Musical Connections has been coordinated by Quench Arts CIC since 2012 but the project has actually been running for 25 years!! 

Over the years Musical Connections has been very grateful to receive funding support from a variety of sources, including the Big Lottery Reaching Communities programme (2007-2017) and Community Fund, from various charitable trusts and foundations, from the Arts Council and partners such as Birmingham and Solihull Mental Health NHS Foundation Trust and from individual donations - please see 'Our Supporters' page. Some places on the project are also funded through personalised health budgets.

Musical Connections has received excellent praise for the outcomes it has achieved, using music as a tool to create positive change - reducing isolation & improving wellbeing.  

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