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A personal request from Brenda Rattray, guest curator

Click HERE to complete Brenda’s workforce development survey.

“If you’re trying your best every single day, then you’ve already succeeded!”

“Be patient with yourself, self growth is holy ground, there’s no greater investment!” Stephen Covey

“Nothing changes if nothing changes……….”

Hi, I’m Brenda Rattray.

My aim in my guest curator role for the Sound Connections workforce development programme is to add to the rich soil foundation that I feel that I walked on to in my first engagement with the organisation. I felt a deep sense of belonging and had the feeling that within this carefully reflective empathic structure, I could be honest and be myself. My goal is to continue to grow and to encourage others not just to look at themselves and the fruit that they bring to life but also look deeper at their organisations or the organisations that they work for and with.

Fruits of Hidden Thoughts (3)If your organisation or you as an individual practitioner were a tree what fruit would it bear? Are they fruits that inspire, growth, good health, kindness, respect, equity, diversity, inclusion to society at large – everyone included or does your tree bear the Strange fruit – that Billie Holiday so courageously sung about……

And how does this impact on your practice as a music educator?

What is an educator?

I am trying to look at the world we live in and sew seeds to all that I interact with that will create a world of kindness, equity and respect.

What is truth? In the world that I live in I have listened, seen and experienced many narratives and truths that either exclude me or describe me in a very different way from how I view myself.

What seeds are you sowing into the children and young people that you work with, with regards to their value in the world and their identity, their worth, their cultural heritage?

Is their history reflected in the music that you make in the classroom?  Are they listening to and encouraged to produce music that helps them to feel good and positive about who they are and what they bring to the world? What language is used in the classroom or place of learning?

It’s useful, I think to look at the world. There is always something that we can do in terms of justice work. The most important thing is to support those who are being harmed by either speaking out, naming injustice when you see it or offering to stand alongside someone who is being harmed and asking them what they would like you to do to assist them. It’s important to see the world through the eyes of those who are oppressed and where possible to give them a voice by creating ‘safe’ listening spaces and also to hear, believe them and take steps in the direction of positive change.

The journey as I begin this role is to open my eyes to truth, to listen first and then speak my lived truth and continue to encourage as many people as is possible to have those difficult conversations, Why, because those are the conversations that inspire growth, understanding and change, as painful as that is.

I want to see Sound Connections workshops and events that help serve, heal, challenge the status quo, feeding our current clients but also opening the door wide for all newcomers to step in and feast.

Let’s all think very carefully about how we can challenge ourselves to really see children and young people and aim to do whatever is necessary to make sure that our work with them is fully inclusive. Let’s strive to give them opportunities to see leaders who look just like them to help them to believe that  anything is possible. Whether you are working as individual practitioners or music education / community music organisations it is important that your team be truly representative of the world that we all live in.

Please help me to do my best to curate events and activities that support you by filling in the short survey below,  I want to listen, hear and understand your position and challenges so that I can explore how Sound Connections can help you.

Click HERE to complete Brenda’s workforce development survey.

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Support our work with London's young music makers. Donate Now