Rhythmix - Case Study

Alex *

Alex* was accessing a support group for young people who had experienced living in a home with domestic abuse or violence.

Alex’s group contained young people with a variety of stories and troubles - some had been subject to abuse and neglect whilst others had been responsible for caring for siblings or a parent who was a victim of domestic abuse. Their difficult home lives meant that many of the young people experienced problems at school and difficulties forming friendships.

Alex* learnt the skills of songwriting from Rhythmix music tutors to explore and express her issues in a safe environment, where her voice - musical or otherwise - was met with encouragement and recognition. The group talked about their experiences and personal struggles with unhealthy relationships, bullying, drug abuse and self-harm. Slowly, she felt safer and more trusting of the group, and was able to use this opportunity to write powerful song lyrics relating to her own stories of abuse as a form of self-expression and release from difficult feelings.

“Alex* in particular gave songwriting a lot of thought and spent time outside the group thinking about relevant song lyrics and how they could be used. She then brought this back to the group and was able to put her ideas across, which was then fed into the track. For Alex expressing herself with music to the group was the first time she had been able to feel a sense of belonging, gaining status in the group and having her efforts recognised.” Rhythmix tutor, discussing Alex’s participation in the sessions.

Alex and the other young people had 1 to 1 time with male and female role models from Rhythmix, who all work as professional musicians, and understood their needs both as budding musicians and young people in difficult circumstances. With this, Alex and the other young people learnt to work together and support each other when their families couldn’t through music and new friendships.

As a result of the sessions Alex and the group have rebuilt self esteem, confidence and self-awareness. This has lead to improved school attendance, fewer night terrors, increased concentration levels, feeling more popular with peer groups, a reduction in self-harm, an increase in interests/hobbies and a greater sense of general wellbeing.