AMP in Lockdown

Amber Okpa-Stother is a member of Accessible Music Productions (AMP), HOME’s project for music lovers, makers and shakers aged 18-25 with different abilities and additional needs. We asked her to talk to some of the other members about what it was like like working on AMP during lockdown.

AMP normally meets once a month at HOME in Manchester and is for people aged 18-25 years old. We have different people teaching us about the music they are playing. This is really interesting as we get to learn things we have never done before which I love!

AMP in lockdown has been really fun and exciting as we have had to find a new way of doing it without being in the same room.  We’ve learnt lots of new skills as well as having lots of fun. It means we weren’t as bored as we would have been just stuck at home.

The sessions

‘It’s better when we get together

We’ve got bubble love

Never mind the stormy weather’ – Bubble of Love lyrics

I didn’t think it was possible to make music over Zoom, but we worked with a range of people and managed to produce our first song, Bubble of Love. I enjoyed coming up with words about what love means to us. We worked in smaller groups which I really liked as I think we get more out of the sessions. Caro, who helped us create the song, is fun and really engaging to work with. She always wanted us to achieve something and when I saw the final music video I thought it was great how everyone worked together. You can see our final video at the bottom of the page.

We also did some drumming sessions with Rome from Global Grooves. He thought of different things we could use around our houses to make music such as pots and pans. It was fun doing this from our different houses as we got to play music together even though we were apart. Rome was really full of energy and he made the music sessions really enjoyable.

“Working with Merida was fun… we got to record different sounds which was incredibly fun to do.”  AMP Participant

In our sessions with Merida we got to think of different noises we could record around our house. Merida also showed us different software we could use to make music which I never knew about before. It was exciting finding out about the different software on our phones and Merida explained everything really well. We created a whole song out of our samples which you can listen to below:

“I also loved doing the session with Louise as we have never done poetry before.”  AMP Participant

I enjoyed doing the poetry with Louise as well. She made me feel really confident and that I was good at poetry when we worked together. It was also really  interesting to hear the other people’s words.

“Doing AMP in lockdown has been good for me because it has meant that I am not bored while being at home… I have also been able to see my friends and catch up with them which has been nice to do.” AMP Participant

We want to thank everyone at HOME and Venture Arts who helped us.  We are all really looking forward to seeing each other in real life again!

“I also really have enjoyed having pizza as well at HOME… I would definitely recommend it as it tastes delicious.” AMP Participant

Watch and listen to the work below:

AMP is delivered in partnership with Venture Arts and has become possible with generous funding from Young Manchester who are striving to improve opportunities for all children and young people across Manchester.  If you want to find out more about the project please get in touch.