work with me

As a freelance creative artist I use songwriting as a way to connect with people. I'm passionate about the power songs have to engage our memories and emotions and shift our focus to see things from a different perspective. 

I approach sessions with a sense of fun, adventure and playfulness. I combine music, rhythm and creative writing techniques. I love to work with people who would not otherwise be writing songs. Being involved in creating a new song can be very empowering for people and help build confidence. I often use themes of social history and culture, creatively exploring memories and life stories to create songs people will connect with. 

I've written songs with school children, young offenders, prisoners, refugees/asylum seekers, people experiencing homelessness, people with mental ill health, people who have dementia and their families.  I've seen what a difference it can make when you give people permission to explore their creativity in a safe and supportive setting.

I have a person-centred approach that is rooted in my background as a charity professional with over 20 years’ experience in the disability sector (for 15 years I was Communications and Campaigns Manager for a charity called Carers UK).  Organisations I have worked with as a songwriter include The People's History Museum, Age Exchange, Theatre in Prison, Studio 3 Arts, the Booth centre, arthur + martha and Streetwise Opera. 

If you have a project you'd like to talk to me about please email me.

Examples of work

Songwriter in Residence. People's History Museum. 2016   

Interpreting the museum’s collection through songs and increasing public engagement with the collection. Included live performances, open studios and songwriting workshops. The main outcome was the live show and album 'Battle for the Ballot' which then toured around the UK helping promote the work of the museum. 

Read more on the project blog

Our Chartist Heritage - Newport Rising Festival 2019

OCH are a heritage charity and as part of their annual arts festival commissioned a performance and two songwriting workshops. I held a protest song session with 60 school children at the Sennedd (Welsh Assembly) in Cardiff. I also did a songwriting workshop with Ambassadors of the Voices network for refugees and asylum seekers. One of their Ambassadors got up and sang the song as part of my performance at the festival. 

Moving Panoramas. arthur+martha. 2018    

I was commissioned by arts organisation Arthur + Martha to work with them on a 4-month project with people who have experienced homelessness. My role was to encourage creative song writing. I worked with around 50 participants and collaborated with visual artist Lois Blackburn.  Our aim was to find creative ways to embed history and creative writing into artwork, allowing participants to inhabit another skin, to see themselves in new ways. The project culminated in a performance, including many of the participants, at the People’s History Museum as part of Manchester Histories Festival 2018.  

Changing Stories. TiPP (Theatre in Prisons and Probation). 2018.  

Changing Stories was an arts project designed to help participants speak about the life experiences that define who they are. I worked with men and women in three different prisons to create music and writing inspired by the stories that shape their lives. The workshops developed participants’ creative writing skills,  they learned to play instruments, compose original music, write lyrics and perform live together as an ensemble.

Read a blog I wrote about one of the prison songwriting sessions

 

My First Protest Song. People's History Museum. 2017-present   

These fun sessions are aimed at children 0-3 years old and use popular songs from the the 20th century associated with campaigning, protest and struggle as a way to aid development through music, movement and singing.