From troubled teen to opera star
Taking part in the Youth Music Mentors scheme helped Adam work through his trauma and find his talent.
Gaining mentoring support
Adam* became part of the Youth Music Mentors scheme through Youth Music's AudioActive project in Brighton.
Music-based mentoring uses music as the common ground and shared interest to develop a relationship with a young person. The mentor is then able to support them to talk through problems, to learn to cope with challenges and to change their behaviour.
Adam had previously been part of an AudioActive project where he'd been involved in the production of hip-hop performances as a visual artist and actor. The staff recognised that he was at a stage in his life where he could really benefit from some kind of intervention and support.
Finding sanctuary in music
Adam had arrived in Brighton from his hometown of Glasgow with no family or support networks. He appeared to be homeless. He was not willing to disclose any details about why he was in Brighton, but he was very willing to engage in the project within which he seemed to find sanctuary.
He had a real passion for music and was open to trying out anything creative. The mentoring programme could provide the kind of support he clearly needed, and he was very keen to refer himself.
Throughout the course of the mentoring sessions, Adam developed his creative skills and worked well with the mentor to produce some really fantastic work. As his confidence grew, he was encouraged by his mentor to write some lyrics which spoke of the issues he's faced in his life.
Through the discussions brought about as a result of the lyric-writing process, it became clear that Adam had suffered a lot of trauma in his life, and had spent most of his teenage years sleeping rough and in hostels.
His relationship with his mum had broken down and he had decided to move to Brighton as an attempt to start afresh. It was also clear that having someone he trusted to speak to about this was incredibly therapeutic for him, and he was very grateful for the support he was given.
This additional support helped Adam to thrive in the hip-hop theatre project he was part of, where he discovered an enviable talent for performing and captivated the audience.
Developing a talent
After the project, with his mentor’s support, Adam successfully auditioned as the only non-professional cast member for the internationally acclaimed Hydrocracker: a series of short Harold Pinter plays programmed as part of the 2011 Brighton Festival.
Youth Music Mentors supported Adam to find a social worker who helped him to address his housing and unemployment issues, and he started some vocational training. Conversations he has had with his mentor about his past has gave him the confidence to get back in contact with his mum who he tracked down and visited in London.
Adam secured employment in Brighton, and is currently working full time in retail and customer service. He was also cast in a leading role in a Glyndebourne/AudioActive reinterpretation of the legend of Don Giovanni.
*Name has been changed
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