Pop Arts delivers bespoke one to one music mentoring programmes to support young people. Informed by the latest research, Pop Arts aims to use music to support those experiencing challenging circumstances. We liaise with family, carers and other key workers, to ensure that participants get the maximum benefit from their experience.
What do we do?
We provide one to one creative sessions, where young people can work with a music producer to create their own pieces of music. They will meet weekly, usually over the course of ten weeks. Progress is documented, recorded and uploaded to a private, secure blog. We encourage participants, as well as their parents/carers and keyworkers to engage with this blog. We also supply a weekly progress report.
Pop Arts is guided by Deci and Ryan’s Self-Determination Theory. This is a theory of motivation and personality which addresses three key psychological needs: competence, autonomy and psychological relatedness. Self-Determination Theory (SDT) focuses on the social and cultural factors which influence an individual’s wellbeing and quality of performance. If any one of the three key psychological needs are unsupported, then there is the potential for a negative impact on wellbeing. At Pop Arts we strive to motivate and engage young people, who may otherwise feel disaffected. Through our programme, they will learn the benefits of persistence, creativity and performance.
Competence – by working in collaboration with a music producer on a successful music project, participants’ self-esteem and feelings of self-worth are boosted. These are also celebrated through their private blog.
Autonomy – the music producer is there to guide them, ultimately participants can create music of their choice, and be as creative as they wish. This level of independence bolsters feelings of autonomy. In addition, the participants are collaborating with a musician, rather than a teacher, social worker or mental health worker, therefore the power-dynamics are different, giving the participant a greater sense of artistic freedom.
Relatedness – by creating music and sharing this through their private blog, participants feel connected to others as they have a way of sharing their thoughts and feelings. If music is their passion, they may feel connected to other artists, creating feelings of positivity.
In addition to being guided by Deci and Ryan’s Self-Determination Theory, we also refer to Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs. This is another motivational theory, and its basic principles are communicated in the diagram below:
Needs lower down the hierarchy must be more or less satisfied before individuals can attend to needs higher up. The first four needs (physiological, safety, belongingness and esteem needs) are referred to as ‘deficiency needs’, i.e. an individual is motivated if one of these needs is unmet, for example, if they are hungry, they will be motivated to seek food. At the top of the hierarchy, ‘self-actualisation’ is known as a ‘growth need’. It is at this stage that the individual is motivated to grow and develop as a person.
Each and everyone of us has the capability to move up the hierarchy towards self-actualisation, however negative life experiences can act as an obstacle. At Pop Arts we hope that we can support young people on their journey towards self-actualisation, by giving them a sense of belonging and accomplishment, as well as an opportunity to fulfil their creative potential.
Where are we based?
We work in and around Liverpool. We can work with individuals in schools, at home or wherever they feel most comfortable. Usually we do five sessions at school/home/safe place, and then five sessions in a recording studio, which is easily accessible to the participant.
Would this be suitable?
This is suitable for anyone aged between 10 – 19 years, who has an interest in music and who is facing challenging circumstances. We have worked with young people with special educational needs (such as autism and attention deficit and hyperactivity condition), as well those with attachment issues – such as young people who have been fostered or adopted. These sessions could also be suitable for young carers as well as those who are bereaved. We would be happy to discuss this further, should you have any questions.
How can I get involved?
It’s as simple as completing our online referral form, available on this website! Alternatively, get in touch and we will guide you through the process.
How much does it cost?
Pop Arts is FREE!
Our recommended programme consists of five sessions carried out at school or home (or another location known to the participant, where they feel safe) and five sessions carried out at a professional recording studio. We are happy to discuss this further to develop a package which meets the needs of the young person. Please email:
Gemma Corby is a teacher and SENCO with 14 years’ experience. She completed her Postgraduate Certificate in Education at the University of Cambridge and has taught in schools in Cambridgeshire, Aberdeen, London and Norfolk. She is also a regular contributor to the Tes (Times Education Supplement).
Gemma has extensive experience supporting young people with additional needs, as well as their parents/carers. She has collaborated with a wide range of professionals, such as educational psychologists; clinical psychologists; autism specialists; occupational therapists, physiotherapists; mental health professionals, and many others. Gemma completed her National Award in Special Educational Needs Coordination at University College London (UCL) in 2016 and has worked as a SENCO in schools in Tower Hamlets and Norfolk.
To find out more about her work, visit: https://www.tes.com/author/gemma-corby
Leaone is a music artist, producer, and recording engineer. He has worked with a wide range of talent including: Rick Wakeman, Nitin Sawhney, Mark Flanagan (Jools Holland Band), Jim Lowe (Stereophonics), Jason Perry ('A'. McFly), Tom Marsh (Lana Del Rey), and Sonic Boom Six, to name just a few.
His music has been used in commercials for clients such as Harley Davidson, and Castrol Oil and most recently in the US motion picture 'The Divorce Party' starring Claire Holt. He has also released records on applauded independent record label 'Fierce Panda' (Coldplay).
Leaone graduated from Westminster University with a degree in Commercial Music and has since worked in recording studios in London, New York, and East Anglia.
Alongside his work within the music industry, Leaone has been running creative sessions with young people facing challenging circumstances for five years.
What Clients Say
“I have learnt many useful music technology skills as well as self-confidence, especially in my college course audition!"
AB, a participant, age 16
“Leaone met AB as an individual person with an interest in music and helped build his confidence in making music and this has boosted his confidence as a person. Other agencies have met AB as someone with a problem, or someone with autism - and both of those viewpoints are true, but not the whole picture! Starting from where AB was, finding out his musical interests and talents, has given him the encouragement he needed to get back into school and take his GCSEs and apply for a L3 place at college in Music Performance.
It's also helped AB that Leaone is much younger than some of the other professionals that have worked with him, and obviously has a strong interest in music!”
“I have achieved better timing and learnt basic root notes on the piano. I also got much better at playing the bass guitar. I have also developed my guitar skills, and experimented with different sounds and different ways of playing. I could probably produce a song in Logic. I am feeling better about myself because of my musical progress I've made.”
EB, a participant, age 13
“The music sessions provided a calm and relaxed one-to-one environment for my son to express himself, through his music. I would say in terms of school he has been keener to get back into lessons and engage in the mainstream environment.”
“The best thing about these sessions has been making my own song and uploading it somewhere and getting it out there.”
HB, a participant, age 14
"Honestly it makes me feel like an 11 out of 10, this is probably the best piece I've ever done. Its really bringing me out and showing people who I am and what my possibilities are."
SP, a participant, age 14
"The sessions have made me feel more confident with the things I do at school and at home as well, so it has helped a lot!"
EC, a participant, age 11
"The time Leaone spent with EB was fantastic, they clicked straight away talking about bands and music. It wasn't long before music and sound compositions were being created. We cannot recommend Leaone highly enough. His calm nurturing disposition is just what was needed and put EB at ease. He is very knowledgable, inspiring and patient. EB was encouraged to go in the direction he was interested in with guidance and teaching from Leaone along the way."