Music Journalism Workshop at Ashbourne Library

We’ve just carried out a special Music Journalism workshop at Ashbourne Library in Derbyshire for the Writing East Midlands Young Writer’s Group. We’re running two separate workshops for different age groups. The first of these took place last night (6 February 2018) and catered for Year 4 to Year 7 students, who were all 8-11 years old. Although this is the youngest group we’ve worked with yet, the writers simply blew us away with their talent and enthusiasm for music journalism.

The Music Journalism workshop at Ashbourne Library was run by Rockhaq Community founder Michelle Dhillon, with lots of help and support from the usual young writer’s group leader Sian Tower and her assistant Emily. Big thanks to both for all your help with this group of 12 young writers. Thanks also to Ashbourne Library for hosting us and supporting this event.

What did we do?

We planned to split the workshop into two 45 minute parts with a break in between, however there was so much writing going on that the “break” didn’t happen, but we all got to eat awesome choc dip type biscuits 😛 We kicked things off by looking at Sam’s review of Beyonce’s Lemonade, a great choice as it’s fairly easy to understand yet has popular appeal. As usual Sam’s opening paragraph was a brilliant example of how to write the first paragraph of your music review:

I will hold my hands up now, I am by no means a Beyonce fan…Lemonade changes everything I thought I knew about Beyonce.
Lemonade, Beyonce: Sam Brookes

Each student had been told to bring their own choice of music along to the class (along with headphones etc) beforehand, and we got to hear a brilliant range of music being covered. Highlights included Jonah reviewing The White Stripes seminal album Elephant, Mary reviewing a hit song from Imagine Dragons and Lucas reviewing Skrillex EP Bangarang. Ed Sheeran was also a very popular choice of artist, with several of the young writer’s group choosing to write about his various singles.

We also carried out a music quiz complete with prizes, a short careers talk/overview of music journalism and The Rockhaq Community, plus sharing all work written with the group afterwards. Several students went well beyond writing just their introduction paragraph too, which was totally unexpected as Michelle hadn’t given any guidance beyond paragraph one.

We’re really looking forward to seeing this exceptional young group complete their reviews and share some of them on The Rockhaq Community. One young writer, Jonah Davis, has (nearly) joined already, which is brilliant.

Want to get involved?

If you’re a parent, teacher or music hub just get in touch to find out what we have planned and how you or your young writers can get involved. Thanks again to Sian, Emily, Ashbourne Library and Writing East Midlands for making these workshops happen. Our next Music Journalism Workshop at Ashbourne Library is on Tuesday 20 February at 4.45-6.45pm and may include an appearance from some former pilot students 😀