As part of a programme of work that aims to improve the music scene and connect young people across a rather rural North Dorset, SoundStorm commissioned Toby’s Project in Shaftsbury to organise and promote Open Mic nights in Shaftesbury and Sturminster Newton. Working with local musician Tom Jobling, aspiring young musicians have been encouraged to share ideas and knowledge as well as equipment, building new friendships all over the county.
The project has provided a great opportunity for locals to have access to live music that they may not have had otherwise. A mini bus now links the two towns/villages to ease transport connections for the high demand of eager attendees!
The project has made a big impact on the young people of the area. One student in particular was feeling uninspired and struggling at school, but as a direct result of an Open Mic night, he expressed an interest and asked the event’s music facilitator Tom to teach him to play the guitar. This young man worked hard and gained confidence, joined his own band and they now play gigs of their own. They have recorded original songs and even have a music video! This project is proving to be fundamental in encouraging new improved attitudes to learning.
The Open Mic nights have grown to be a huge success, so popular that adults are now keen to participate. The nights are raising great proceeds that are kindly donated to local schools to provide music lessons for further disadvantaged young people.
To find out more about Toby’s Project, visit their website here