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Back in the Swing - Make Music Programme

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“Music is a part of the fabric of my life.” – Ros

Sage Gateshead aims to make music part of everyone’s life. Ahead of the summer term of Make Music – our regular sessions that offer fun, informal learning with experienced musicians – we spoke to people currently in the classes about what making music means to them.

“I would say that I often feel on cloud nine when I leave a session, and this affects both physical and mental health.” says Chris. “I think there’s a very close connection between physical and mental health, so if one improves, the other is likely to do so too.”

Singing classes – such as Silver Singers Gateshead – are a good starting point for people to find their groove and develop vocal skills. Songs from the Shows is just the ticket for Broadway fans, and our Sounds Good To Me group is for adults with learning disabilities who love singing, delivered in a relaxed and friendly atmosphere.

Songs in Harmony covers a variety of genres and places, from pop to traditional Hawaiian. Mary has been attending for two years and enjoys the benefits singing as a group provides:

“Coming together to sing, we leave our baggage at the door. Family problems, pain and sickness, things to do, things to remember – they all have to be let go.”

“For 1 hour 30 minutes, our only concern is to join together to make the music come alive; to listen, watch and harmonise, appreciating each other’s voices, correcting lapses of pitch and timing, sometimes frustrated, sometimes laughing, until it all comes together, and we can really enjoy it,” she says. “Afterwards, we pick up our baggage again, but it feels lighter.”

Our Make Music programme also takes place online, ensuring that people can benefit from music making surrounded by the comfort of their own environment.

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VirTuition lets participants learn at their own pace through a series of virtual tutorials, choosing from five instruments, and the videos can be re-watched as many times as required. Another online user shares,

“The virtual programme lifted my spirits and kept me in touch with tutors and other participants during the pandemic. Coming back to the building was an important step in starting to get back to normal, and making music with my fellow participants was such a joyful experience.”

Families and young children are introduced to the wondrous world of sound, where they develop musical and social skills. Based in the building, We Are Family is for 4 to 7-year-olds, The Kids Are Alright caters for children up to five, and Baby Love is up to 12 months. 

Feels Like Home brings musicians online to make music from our home to yours, revisiting favourite and new tunes and playing games in a warm atmosphere.

Lauren, who lives in rural Northumberland, values the connectivity of the classes,

“As a home-educating family, we obviously must provide experiences ourselves, so it was a relief when I discovered your Zoom music sessions,” she says.

“I am so appreciative of Sage Gateshead and what it provides for all manner of people. In the future, I hope to be able to bring my two girls to classes and workshops, but for now, we are happily playing and singing along.”

“Open to everyone whatever your experience.”  – programme attendee

Make Music is part of Sage Gateshead’s aim to give everyone in the North East access and encouragement to get involved with music.


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