Jess was 17 when she started attending Rhythmix sessions. Her schooling had been affected by her mental health condition. She attempted to work as part of the group, but her extreme anxiety prevented her from doing so. She clearly loved singing and song writing, but she would have panic attacks if she thought she had to sing in front of people.

One-to-One Confidence Building and Song Writing

Jack put some time aside to working with her on her songs on her own, which she responded well to. She gained the confidence to sing in front of him and took advice on chord progression and the editing and restructuring of her songs.

Jack and Jess recorded two of her songs as acoustic tracks during the sessions, and she built up the confidence to record and play her song with the wider group at Chalkhill Mental Health Services. The song writing gave her a very powerful means to express herself about the issues she was facing and the emotions she was experiencing.

Leaving Chalkhill

As Jess was coming close to her discharge date, approximately three months after Jack began working with her she was concerned that she would lose the support she was getting from Rhythmix.

Rhythmix was running another program in Brighton and it was agreed by Jess’ occupational therapist at Chalkhill to refer her onto this programme so that I would be able to continue working with her on her music. The project was based at the youth offending services’ studio that was fully equipped with recording equiptment.

Jack was able to continue to work with Jess there on her own, supported by a trainee music leader, producing three more of her own songs to an exceptionally high musical standard.

These songs, along with the tracks recorded at Chalkhill, gave Jess the portfolio and the confidence to go onto successfully apply to an Access to Music Performance and Production course. She is continuing to study there, performing regularly to audiences across the city and developing as an artist.