"Talent is just the entrance fee..."

I heard someone say the title of this post recently and have been thinking about it A LOT this week as once again, I witnessed a group of youngsters come together to create new music on the SOSLAM Young Musician Project. 

The setting was the beautiful big white house in Chalkwell Park (Southend-on-sea for those of you reading this from outside the area); 10am on a Monday morning in the middle of the Easter Holidays, 11 talented youngsters arrived, on the face of it - for a week of workshops, creative writing and out and out fun. 

What they actually did was spend the week stepping outside of their comfort zone; trying new things, practising hard, digging deep and opening up about topics they may not have felt comfortable with previously.

We witnessed a bunch of young people extremely passionate about their music; I mean why else would 11 teenagers give up half of their Easter break to spend it with a bunch of ageing musicians!!? That willingness to commit so much of their spare time rewarded them with new friendships, a new peer group of supportive like minds, a bunch of new skills and new songs, which they performed in a live showcase at the house on the last day to a packed house: some had never written a song before the start of the week or performed their own music, some had never performed! (The songs are all brilliant: watch out for their own compilation album in the coming months as it's going to be a 'must own')

We, of course get as much (if not more) out of this week as they do because it's an excuse for us to all get together and share ideas, experiences and play music with our own version of the above peer group. And some call this a job! 

Photo: 'Class of 2018' by Soundcastle Media