Music has been a big part of my life since I was eight, when I started to learn violin. I caught the bug, and I picked up any instrument I possibly could. I was addicted to learning new things about new instruments and listening to new music.
I was introduced to The Big Music Project nearly 2 years ago. I’d previously heard of the project, but I wasn’t sure how I could get involved until I went to an introduction day for ‘champions’ (aka, people involved in projects with the big music project).
Since then, my hub have held a number of open mic nights, and me and my band have performed in a festival, and the Cardiff showcase event. The project has changed the way I look at music and allowed me to meet so many inspirational people with inspirational stories. It has given me so many opportunities, like being able to perform in festival and to be an expert on a panel. I thought I was getting out all of the things I possibly could.
Then, a couple of weeks ago, my youth worker offered me the opportunity to go on a residential which was for “Champion Ambassadors”. A space had opened up and she offered it to me. I leapt at this opportunity, and before I knew it I was on the train to London and travelling to a residential house.
A few of the young people there had met before, and there were people from a variety of places: Wales; Scotland; Ireland; Somerset; the list goes on. The idea of this residential was for us to reflect on the last year of stuff that we had done, learn about networking and how influential this project has been, learning about telling your own story and how to get your story to resonate with other people, and about getting to know each other. The workshops were incredibly useful. I didn’t realise how far this project reached, and how important it is to so many different people. For me, the workshop about telling your story was the one that resonated with me the most (which was probably the idea), and it was taking by an awesome guy called Fusion, who has HIS OWN TED TALK, and so you can hear a little more about his story here.
The best aspect of this weekend for me was getting to meet some new people, and doing some activities. We did an obstacle course and some archery which was a lot of fun, but I really enjoyed meeting another fan of Dodie Clark and singing her songs and being sat around the campfire telling my story and learning how to play new songs on my ukulele and being picked on because of my accent and listening to my favorite song with new people and laughing so hard I could cry and looking at Jupiter through very expensive telescopes.
This weekend was something that I really needed. It helped me to remember my passion for music and why music is so important. I am so thankful that I got be a part of something so amazing, and I hope that I get to continue to be a part of it in the future.
Thanks for reading, and to get involved in The Big Music Project, click here.
Love, Ashleigh xx