Band Factory is a unique project that allows young musicians, aged 12-18 to come together, and work on music for a full week – developing their skills, confidence & sense of connection to others.
Taking place during the October holidays, fifteen young musicians came to Geilsland Estate to begin their journey. After a round of ice-breaking games, the young people were placed into three different groups to form bands – all being led by an expert tutor from Creative Kilwinning.
Each day, from 11-4pm, the bands would work on and rehearse their music. The tutors helped the bands with their individual parts, as well as piecing together the songs as a band, with the intention of curating a set list between 15-20 minutes, for a gig at the end of the week.
Monday was a day of getting to know their new band-mates; comparing musical influences and finding common ground before beginning any rehearsal.
By Tuesday, all bands were in full swing. One established themselves as punk rock aficionados, another taking a more modern approach & the last indulging in classic rock anthems. All bands were gelling well and becoming more and more comfortable as the days rolled on.
The confidence and togetherness of the bands grew all week – not only finding a musical relationship, but also forming strong bonds between the participants. On Friday, it was time for one last rehearsal and then after a stop for some food – it was time for the gig!
The attendees were all feeling the excitement as rehearsal came to an end on the Friday. After rehearsal, all the bands got together for some dinner and some pre-show chat.
For some this was their first taste of performing in front of others, and nerves were running high. At this point, some of the more experienced ‘Band Factory’ regulars took on a leadership role, and could assure the younger ones what to expect from the gig, and managed to settle their nerves.
Each band got a slot at the ‘Youth Music Showcase’ concert – filling out the Old Chapel venue at Geilsland Estate to around 60-80 audience members.
Each band performed what they had been working on so hard during the week – and it was a huge success. Nerves were quickly forgotten about, and not many of the attendees looked as if this was their first time performing. All of the bands were brilliant! Tutors and parents alike were so pleased and proud of what they had achieved.
This project is so unique, as it not only sets up the young musicians with real gigging experience, but also helps show them how it is all done – how to begin a band, how to rehearse efficiently, and most importantly how to perform and put on a show, with confidence and precision.
Overall, it was a great success – the difference was clear between the young people when they first came in, to where they were when they left and this is reflected in our feedback.
Band Factory proves and continues to be a great project for any young musician looking to improve their music skills and develop their confidence.