00:00:02 My name’s Ed and I work at the Sage Gateshead and my role is project musician so I work on a variety of projects from…ranging from primary school kids up to people over the age of 50 and I run vocal workshops. When we go into a school, everyone watches the X-Factor or Last Choir Standing or any of those programmes that have been on, and so that gives us something to work with because they’re enthusiastic about it in one way and that’s all you need really is some kind of enthusiasm and then you can take that on and develop it and find the best progress for people.
00:00:36 The best thing about my job is working with the general public and doing workshops for people and seeing how people develop. I love hearing people sing but I think for me the most powerful thing and the thing I enjoy the most is seeing people change over the years that they’re in a particular group. Seeing how they grow in confidence, how it affects their lives in all the ways that aren’t musical. So social…the social benefits of it, I think, is the best thing for me.
00:01:06 I teach my mum. My mum’s in one of the choirs I run and she for years said she couldn’t sing and she only came to join this choir because I convinced her that she might enjoy it and I was leading it. I know in the last year since I’ve been doing it, her voice has, you know, come out of nowhere and it’s…she is an example of someone who was told that they couldn’t sing. It’s such a dangerous thing to say to someone and it still gets said and it’s so damaging, because as soon as someone says you can’t sing, then that’s kind of it for you, you know, in terms of confidence, in terms of how you feel about yourself.
00:01:38 I think when I was six it was probably I wanted to be a fire-fighter, I think, when I was six. So yeah, I think that was my early career dream and then…but I was always, always, always interested in music and when I was three, apparently my mum put me on her knee and I actually played something that related to a tune on a piano and so she wanted me to…she always wanted me to carry on with music. But I didn’t really decide to…that music was going to be my career until you get to the kind of 14, 15 year old stage where you have to start thinking about that kind of thing.
00:02:13 Nina Simone was the person that really got me into music, full stop. When I was about six, my dad used to play it on the car radio and I heard a bit of piano coming through that I really liked and I sat down at the piano and tried to work it out and then, when I was making decisions about my career, when I was weighing up different elements, I think, when I sat down at the piano and was playing, often I used to play Nina Simone. That made me kind of sure that actually this was something that I was wildly passionate about.
00:02:44 I did a degree in music. During that degree, my brother’s a youth worker in London and I started to experience some of the work that he does and that really started to get me interested in community work as a profession. So when I finished university, I came back up to the north-east which was where I was raised and the Sage had arrived and that was somewhere that offered exactly what I wanted which was community music training. So then I started work here, did an 18-month training programme and then started work and fully two years ago doing this work. So that’s how I got here.
00:03:20 I do a bit of teaching on the side. So I teach piano and I teach singing as a separate thing to my main work which is…it’s kind of more group based and community based, but I know that if all that fell through, that I’d be able to go and teach…teach individual pupils on the side and earn money that way. So I think it’s important to have a couple of choices in terms of creative industries anyway.
00:03:44 My parents were incredibly supportive of whatever I wanted to do and they knew that music was my thing so they were very supportive in that. Whatever profession you choose, that’s your profession and that’s what you’re going to do for your job so you need to be enjoying yourself whilst you’re doing it, so I think that’s the key element for any job really, whether it be, you know, banking or doing music. It’s the same thing. It’s about passion I think. ENDS
Ed A teaches people of all ages to sing at the Sage in Gateshead. “Nina Simone was the person that really got me into music, full stop. When I was about six, my dad used to play it on the car radio.” Ed’s family have always supported him in his music and his decision to make a career out of it.
More information about Youth and community workers
The UK average salary is £28,758
There are 37.5 hours in the average working week
The UK workforce is 47% female and 53% male
- Organises social, recreational and educational activities in local community and youth groups;
- Undertakes the day-to-day running of community centres and supervises the activities of part-time and voluntary workers;
- Liaises and supports voluntary workers running groups in village halls, churches, mosques and other places of worship;
- Advises individuals with particular needs or problems through informal discussion, individual counselling or formal group discussion;
- Helps set up credit unions, encourages parents to establish playgroups, works with other groups to find solutions to shared concerns or problems.
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