A talented teenager from Blackpool has set his sights on a career in music, after taking part in a creative media course run by Groundwork.
Fynnley, aged 17, has always loved producing and singing his own rap music. He’d been studying music at college, but had to withdraw from the course due to suffering from anxiety. One of the things that triggers Fynnley’s anxiety is being amongst large groups of people. The large class sizes for Maths and English lessons proved a huge challenge to him. He eventually gave up the course and this affected his confidence and left him feeling very demotivated.
It was Carol Bramhall from an organisation called Educational Diversity who suggested that the UFY Media programme would be a good way to rediscover his confidence and inspire his creativity once again. Unique FY Media is an innovative 6-week creative media programme, run by Groundwork, for young people aged 13-18 not currently in Education, Employment or Training (NEET). It’s aim is to inspire people to progress and pursue opportunities. It does this by providing access to inspirational tutors and mentors and the resources to develop new skills, confidence and talent. Although he had a talent for music, Fynnley did not feel he was artistic or creative in any other way, but said that he would be willing to give it a try.
During the first week of the course Fynnley was quiet, struggled to speak to the other members of the course or the course leaders. The second week was drama week. The aim of this was to encourage learners to build their confidence by writing and performing a play for each other. This really took Fynnley out of his comfort zone, as he suffers from stagefright and didn’t enjoy performing in front of others. By the end of the week Fynnley had co-written some of the script in the play (some in French!) and made his own props. He also threw himself into learning his lines by heart. At the end of the second week Fynnley began to come out of his shell. He was chatting to the other learners and the course leaders. He said that normally, he would have refused to perform in front of others but had really enjoyed this week and felt really proud of himself.
Throughout the rest of the course Fynnleys self-confidence continued to soar. Before the course he had said that he wasn’t artistic or creative in any way (apart from music). But during Week 3 (art week) Fynnley participated in every art-based activity and immersed himself in some of the creative tasks. On one particular day, the group did Zentangles, a form of mindful doodling. Fynnley spent over an hour creating an abstract piece of art, featuring a variety of different animals, which also spelled out his own name. By this point Fynnley was chatting comfortably during the sessions. He was proud of the artwork he created and his self-confidence had improved massively.
Time to shine
The highlight for Fynnley was Week 4, Music Week, which included a DJ workshop. This was where he truly shined. He loved working with the DJ’s. He spoke to them about their careers as DJs and was interested to find out how he could also pursue a career in music. Fynnley wrote and performed his own rap in front of everyone. Overcoming his stage fright was a huge achievement for him.
By the end of the course Fynnley’s confidence and self-esteem were hugely improved. He’d also developed lots of useful new skills, like communication and teamworking.
Fynnley has been given a referral to receive 1-to-1 mentoring through Invest In Youth programme. The aim is for him to continue to progress and hopefully be able to return to a music course at college, or begin looking at how to pursue a music career.
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UFY Media is funded via Children In Need. It also has a Facebook page and can be found on Tik Tok.