I Speak Music


Surrey Music Hub ‘I Speak Music’ programme

‘Music uniquely bonds young people whatever their ability, ethnicity or cultural background.’

Thanks to the Youth Music funded I Speak Music programme, Surrey Arts Music Hub (SMH) aims to celebrate and enrich cultural and musical diversity in Surrey.

The programme presents as 3 strands of work; each supporting and enhancing the other.

  1. I Speak Music Youth song writing sessions
  2. Training and development of professionals and volunteers engaging with the programme
  3. I Speak Music Community Orchestra.

I Speak Music Youth song writing programme (strand 1)

Celebrating Diversity in Surrey through music

We’ve delivered a Youth Music programme aimed at increasing the confidence and musical skills of young people from a refugee background or newly arrived and vulnerable so that they feel able to join other groups and ensembles in the county and beyond. It was delivered by a diverse and talented team of professional music leaders.

Over 50 young people in total took part at some point and a core group of 34 were involved in writing and recording a song. This song is called ‘Shining Star’ and reflects the themes of loss and hope that are so prevalent for the young people taking part. Feedback from young people and from professionals or carers has been extremely positive with many young people saying they felt they had grown in confidence and really enjoyed working with their friends and the ISM tutors.

I Speak Music CPD (strand 2)

Nurturing the skills, knowledge and confidence of professionals and volunteers

We organised two training and awareness raising events for the core project workforce team as well as a Countywide Networking event for tutors and project partners. The project team gathered regularly to reflect and plan before and after each session with young people. In January 2019 the team and young people got together again to celebrate with cake and listening to the recording of their song.

The I Speak Music Community Orchestra (strand 3)

Promoting empathy between refugee and host communities

Promoting empathy between refugee and host communities

We are delighted to announce that we now have funding from Arts Council England to continue and develop the Orchestra. https://www.artscouncil.org.uk

Meet the Orchestra music leaders

Raghad Haddad, Co-Musical Director

Raghad is a viola player from Yabroud, a small town in the mountains north of Damascus. After graduating from the conservatoire in Damascus, she began teaching, performing with the Syrian National Symphony Orchestra and the National Orchestra for Arabic Music. Since being granted asylum in the UK in 2017 she has performed at numerous charity events in London and Brighton and recently performed with Damon Albarn, The Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra and The Orchestra of Syrian Musicians. She also joined a group of Syrian professional musicians called The London Syrian Ensemble and they perform traditional and classical oriental music around the UK connects her to her homeland. Raghad now working hard to secure a living performing, teaching whenever opportunities arise.

James Redwood, Co-Musical Director

James is a composer and music leader with 20 years’ experience of making music with groups of non-professional and professional musicians.  The wider the range of musical personalities in the room, the happier he is.

Sara Khoroosi, Music Facilitator

Sara is a Violinist Dancer and Alexander Technique Teacher specialising in working with Performers of any ability, facilitating the ease freedom and joy that can be experienced through the Performing Arts at any level. She  has experience of working with unaccompanied asylum seekers and playing & touring with Manouchska & Dunia Flamenco; Danced/Choreographed with Mambo Central; and taught Alexander Technique at the Actors Centre and London Music & Dance Conservatoires.
Instruments: Violin, vocals, keys, percussion
Additional skills: Farsi and Spanish speaker

KMT Freedom Teacher, Music Facilitator

KMT is an exemplar for social change. DJ/M.C and Trainer (Workshops, Project Manager and Lecturer), since 1999 he has used the arts, in particular Hip-Hop, for social awareness and cohesion http://www.3kmt.co.uk.

KMT entertains and educates, guides people with infectious energy, knowledge and skills to change and empower their lives. He is also the co-founder of May Project Gardens; a community based food-growing project set within the grounds of his home. The grassroots project illustrates his passion for pro-active social change and love for the environment http://www.mayproject.org
Instruments: Voice, DJ, Body, Mind
Additional skills: I pride myself on being to identify people’s skills and talents and developing to their full potential.

Craig Warnock, Music Facilitator

Craig has been leading group workshops and individual sessions with a variety of young people for several years, teaching multi-instrumental skills, composition and songwriting, recording and production techniques.

He has worked extensively with young people who are living in challenging circumstances and with a range of learning and physical disabilities needs. Craig has been a professional multi-instrumental musician for twenty years involved in recording /touring with many great acts.

Instruments: Keys, Bass, Guitar, Drums, Percussion, Flute, Inclusive Music Tech esp iPad music apps.

Jim Pinchen, Project Manager/ Music Facilitator

Jim is a composer, facilitator, speaker and project manager with a proven track record of delivering local, national and international programmes for children and young people. He is the Inclusion Manager at Surrey Arts/Surrey Music Education Hub and a trainer for Musicians Without Borders
Instruments: Guitar, bass, piano, music production and inclusive music technologies (also very basic cello and trumpet!)

The Orchestra’s history

This Orchestra performed for the first time in June at the Refugee Week event in Woking, was then invited to perform at a Police organised memorial event and most recently in September 2019, invited to take part in a TEDx Conference in Farnham on the themes of building empathy and resilience. Surrey Music Hub’s vision is for this model to grow and be replicated up and down the country.

Get Involved

Join the I Speak Music Orchestra or find out when they are performing https://surreymusichub.com/2019/04/03/the-i-speak-music-community-orchestra/

To find out more about the project and how to get involved email Project outreach officer, Mona Saad at mona4youthmusic@gmail.com