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CoMusica Exchange

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Kimberley Bain, from Chester-le-Street, has always worked with children in their early years. Last year she started a new role at Children North East where she runs weekly sessions for 0-5-year olds. This is where she found out about an exciting opportunity called CoMusica Exchange.

Sage Gateshead’s CoMusica Exchange is a year-long training programme designed to support organisations and professionals to develop their skills to use music and creative arts to engage with children and young people experiencing  challenging circumstances. It includes co-mentoring, shadowing opportunities and free or subsidised
training opportunities.

“When I first started in my new job at Children North East I was a little bit nervous and there was a part of me that thought I wasn’t good enough. I saw an advert about CoMusica Exchange and thought it would be something that would benefit me. I was used to working with early years and babies but it was the older children that I had no confidence with, and that’s why I applied to join.” said Kimberley.

“You don’t need to be a musician to join the programme. Many of the people on CoMusica Exchange weren’t music specialists at all; there were people training to be primary school teachers, graduates and people working in early years like myself.” she added.

The exchange includes many shadowing opportunities with Music Leaders.

Kimberley added: “My first shadowing opportunity was in a secondary school. The children had special educational needs and seeing how the teacher worked with them has taught me a great deal on how to manage different situations, and see how these skills could be transferable to my own work.

“I also shadowed Music Leaders running early years classes for looked after children as well as classes taking place at Sage Gateshead. They gave me some really good ideas to use in my own sessions.

“I have a wider knowledge of music-making now. I still wouldn’t call myself a musician but I’m more confident. I can sing with older children and not be worried about it because I know how to engage them.”

Wendy Smith, Director of Creative Learning at Sage Gateshead, said: “Here at Sage Gateshead we believe that by developing individuals and organisations who lead activities for children and young people experiencing challenging circumstances, we can increase inclusive music-making and develop inclusive music practice.”

Applications for CoMusica Exchange 20/21 open in April 2020. Find out more here.

CoMusica Exchange is supported by Youth Music through the Alliance for a Musically Inclusive England, using public funding from the National Lottery through Arts Council England.

Sage Gateshead works in partnership with Children North East to achieve the best outcomes for children
and their families in the North East.

Children North East is the region’s oldest independent children’s charity. Last year it created life-changing differences for more than 3,700 babies, children, young people and their families through over 20 different projects, including Kimberley’s Boogie Bairns sessions that encourage bonding between parents and their little ones.