Brass bands benefitting the community

Discussion in 'The Rehearsal Room' started by 1alexm, Mar 3, 2009.

  1. 1alexm

    1alexm Member

    Hi guys, for my extended project A level I have chosen to do a project on 'What roles do brass bands play in the lives of youth and what are their effects on the community and should these be enhanced?'

    My current plans for my project are to research youth offenders and brass bands, I watched a program called 'voices of christmas' last year and it featured a guy who organised a brass band in a youth offenders institute and it the youth offenders were saying they really enjoyed it and that its making them better people, so I thought it would be interesting to write about that. I am going to research ways that brass bands improve health (ie, training of lips, lungs > breathing, tongue > tounging techniques ect). I have created a survey for the youth band i play in to find out why they enjoying playing in a brass band, why they joined and how they think they are benefitting the community. I also have created a survey to research awareness of brass bands from students in my year group. I also intend to talk about brass band tradition and how they developed, with reference to the miners and colliery bands. The other things want to talk about are contesting and concerts.

    Does anyone have any useful information about any of the things I talk about in my project?
    Could you recommend other things I could talk about that relate to my project title?

    Any help would be greatly appreciated :)
  2. jockinafrock

    jockinafrock Active Member

    What a great topic you've picked! How about focussing some of your work around the Durham Miner's Gala that is held annually in - guess where - yep Durham! Maybe you could offer your services to one of the bands that takes part; they always welcome a willing player. Bands are an important part of this traditional event, and many could tell you stories of getting up at ungodly hours to march colliery banners around villages before embarking on 'the March'. The villagers are proud to follow 'their' banner and 'their' band.
    Many youngsters take part in this event, and hopefully learn a bit about our mining and banding heritage.
    The Gala attracts thousands of people so is a great for bringing revenue and awareness to Durham.
    Good luck - and I do recommend you take part (that is if you haven't already). Just take your inhaler if you suffer from asthma...! You'll soon find out why! ;)
    We have players from our band who travel up to support the North East's banding fraternity.
    Good luck with your studies... :D
  3. Squeaker

    Squeaker Member

    I agree, you've picked a good subject with lots of different aspects to look at.
    What springs to mind with me is comparing schools now to when I was at school (which wasn't that long ago). When I was in junior school, they had a music teacher who was mad on brass bands, and a peri teacher to teach brass. They got a lot of us playing a brass instrument and had a lot of talented young brass players come through. We formed a school brass band and went on to win BBC youth Proms twice, performed at the Albert Hall twice, and toured round the world. A lot of us from my year went on to be playing in top section bands now, one became a proffessional trumpet player for example. But now in schools, not as many kids are being encouraged to play brass intruments or play in a band.
    Another point is that, as a youngster playing in a band, it gives you a talent to be proud of, something to do twice a week, and meet lots of different people. Nowadays, a lot of these teens knocking about on street corners and causing people grief are "bored". Had they been given the opportunity in school and given encouragement, they may have got into banding. I'm obviously not saying this is true of all kids, let's face it..... I've never known brass banding to be considered "cool"! My point is that I don't think enough is done to give kids the opportunity.
    Hope these points help, and I wish you well with it!
  4. FlugelD

    FlugelD Member

    Don't get too bogged down with coal - how about Fairey's, Foden's, Dyke, Leyland....

    Heavy industry, and keeping thirsty beggars out of the local ;) - way to go !
  5. tinytimp

    tinytimp Member

    What a great topic! I'm sure you'll find lots to get your teeth into there.

    I am just finishing (well, not as close to finishing as I'd hope...) my Masters dissertation, so just thought I'd give you a couple of pointers from the layout/content point of view. Obviously this assignment has asked a lot more than an A Level project so if you think it's too much detail/too formal then please ignore!

    As I said, great topic, but do you think you're maybe including too much? Maybe focusing on just the youth/community aspect would give you a more coherent assignment - not sure how relevant the health/tradition/contesting aspects are to bands' effects on the community. It may be worth briefly talking about all of this to give your work some context, but I think the youth/community part is worthy of a discussion just to itself!

    Maybe you could talk about the education/community work undertaken by professional orchestras etc, and suggest ways that some of these techniques could be adopted and applied by an amateur brass band? Remember to also mention that doing work that directly benefits the local community is a good thing to attract funding - it's called 'social inclusion' and is a bit of a buzz-word in arts funding at the moment!
  6. Bunnymonster

    Bunnymonster Member

    Whilst not directly linked to brass bands or offenders (sorry!) it may be worth you doing some background reading on El Sistema and the Simon Bolivar Orchestra in Venezuela. The effect of this initiative on the youth of the country is astounding and has lead to massive social change. Scotland has recently rolled out a 'version' of the sistema, so it may be worth investigating the success of this.
  7. 1alexm

    1alexm Member

    My project sadly has to be in before the event :( but thanks for the topic suggestion, I mentor thinks that writing about the Gala would be a good idea so I think I will :)

    Thanks Squeaker for your thoughts too, I support your point and I want to try and get that point you made across in my coursework.

    All these ideas have been very useful to me, i'm still open for peoples thoughts and suggestions :)