Wellbeing through music
16 March 2021
The Brentwood Imperial Youth Band is a traditional marching band founded in 1990. Established with the aim to provide local young people an environment to develop life-skills in a fun, safe, and musical way the band has developed into a highly renowned group with international reputation. They frequently perform at concerts, parades, and tattoos throughout the year. With over 100 members, made up of people from all walks of life, all staff are volunteers.
Wellbeing through music
Music features in every aspect of our life – from weddings to funerals. For many, music has played an even bigger part in our lives during the pandemic, whether its listening to a favourite musician to boost our mood or learning to play an instrument to occupy our time.
That appreciation of the connection music and wellbeing has is fully embraced by The Brentwood Imperial Youth Band.
Band Director Johnpaul Wyndham says: “We all come from different walks of life and vary in age - the youngest is just 10 years old! But no matter how much we differ outside the band music brings us together for a common goal.
Not only does it enhance our wellbeing to be playing music and socially interacting with others, but it also teaches us the value of good teamwork. Like an orchestra, each instrument is needed to make the song work. Each recruit is instrumental in bringing this band to life and that really helps us all to see our own value. The band is like a large extended family”.
Other benefits on the band
Johnpaul also explains how discipline and respect are key qualities taught by being in the band, not to mention the skills of learning to play an instrument.
Many of the new recruits join the band with no previous musical experience, but they are helped to work towards a BTEC Level 2 in Music for Practical Performance. The band, a registered Charity, has no entrance criteria other than a minimum age requirement of 10 and no musical experience or even an instrument are necessary. Membership is just £1 per week.
Changing lives through music
Over the years, Johnpaul Wyndham has seen many young people come through the doors shy, lacking in confidence and self-esteem. Through the music and camaraderie that the band brings he has seen them blossom into confident and out-going young adults.
“That’s what the Imperial Youth Band is all about and to see that first-hand reinforces why I love helping the younger generation every day.”
Some of the new recruits cannot afford a uniform or an instrument and Johnpaul does not want that to be a barrier towards people achieving their dreams.
It can take a recruit up to two years to learn how to play in concerts, with uniforms and instruments needing to be updated regularly.
“We decided to join the Essex Lottery as there is a great deal of flexibility with the funding received. When you apply for grants, the criteria for funding is often very restricted to certain locations and certain tasks, whereas the funding from the lottery can be used on a myriad of needs. I was very impressed with how quick the process to sign up was too” says Johnpaul.
Supporting Essex good causes
Johnpaul believes that the Lottery is unique because when someone buys a ticket, they can specifically raise money for their chosen good cause. Its reassuring to know that their money is going back into supporting grassroots groups across Essex.
He says: “We get such a benefit from being a nominated good cause. Not only does it raise money for us, but it raises our profile in the local community – we may be recognized internationally but we really need that exposure within Essex to recruit more people to the band. Thank you, Essex Lottery, for giving us this opportunity!”
Play the Essex Lottery!
Tickets for the lottery cost just £1 a week with each ticket having a 1 in 50 chance to win a prize each week – that’s a better chance than winning other lotteries. The top prize is £25,000!
60p from every £1 ticket sold is donated to good causes in Essex. Your chosen cause will receive 50p whilst the remaining 10p will be distributed to other local good causes.
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