A My Pockets Music Case Study by Shane McMurray
Danny, 22 is a young father and casual worker who has found a musical way to deal with mood swings, anger and has developed musical ambition on the way.
“After a music session I feel better and playing drums takes away my anger” Dan
I have been working with Dan for the past 6 months as part of the My Pockets Music Project supported by Spirit of 2012 and Youth Music, we have been making music with a group of young people, recording some songs and now I am working with him on his individual musical development.
Dan’s lives on the Bransholme estate in Hull which for a while was the largest in Europe, it originally housed the ex dock worker families of the city. The gap that the industry left can be felt on the estate and as someone who grew up there it’s safe to say low ambition and low expectations are common-place. Dan studied motor vehicle level 1 but his Further education was cut short when his age meant he would have to find money for his course which he didn’t have. A few years ago I actually taught Dan IT at college, he was very shy and didn’t seem very ambitious.
Dan met the My Pockets team at the Bransholme Astra Youth Club. It was clear that he had musical talent when within minutes he was playing complicated beats in time. The team realised it wasn’t a fluke when he recorded his first song a few weeks later to a click track in 1 take. Dan began to show huge commitment to the project and his own development.
He has no set routine and as such his sleeping pattern is chaotic, however he always manages to be on time for his music sessions. Dan currently works casually at musical events, when I ask him if he’d ever imagined when he was cleaning litter at a festival; that he himself would one day be a musician he looks up with a revealing smile and simply says - ‘No’. It’s clear that Dan’s obvious gift for playing the drums has taken him by surprise.
It was felt Dan would benefit greatly from further tuition on an individual level and because Dan has no place of his own or any funds; it means playing drums and learning more has to be done through the weekly My Pockets Music project. I’ve seen a massive change in him and to see him develop very quickly has give me a tremendous sense of pride in him, My Pockets Music, Spirit of 2012 and Youth Music.
Dan now hopes to improve as a drummer and aspires to be in a band as well as become a You Tuber, demonstrating his progression to the world. He is currently is volunteering for a charity to help him gain a forklift license.
Danny may end up being a forklift driver, he may steward music events for another 20 years - but now Danny will always be a drummer.