Funding boost for music project for the over-50s

One of the over-50 musicians who have been helped by the New Tricks project run by soundLINCS.
One of the over-50 musicians who have been helped by the New Tricks project run by soundLINCS.

A funding boost of £20,000 is music to the ears of over-50 enthusiasts in Gainsborough who enjoy playing instruments or singing a tune or two.

The money is to go towards a project called New Tricks, run by the highly respected Lincolnshire-based community music organisation, soundLINCS.

And the aim of New Tricks is to develop a service for people over-50 who would like to explore and develop their passion for music.

The funding has come from the Postcode Community Trust, an offshoot of the People’s Postcode Lottery, which is played by thousands of people across the country every week.

Community musuician Nikki-Kate Heyes, MBE, who founded soundLINCS in 1998 and is its chief executive officer, said: “We are delighted that the Postcode Community Trust has recognised the exciting work taking place with New Tricks and has given us this great opportunity to continue to build and develop the project.

“We are discovering an ever-growing and enthusiastic abundance of individuals wanting to make music through the project and want to provide as many people as possible across the county with quality, innovative music-making opportunities over its lifetime.”

New Tricks, which is already being funded by Arts Council England, is being developed in a host of venues across Lincolnshire. It enables over-50s of all abilities to try new instruments, with the opportunity too of shaping their own musical outfits. They can create their own music or learn their favourite tunes as part of a fun and social group.

Nikki-Kate continued: “We truly believe that it should be a right for all older adults to have access to music, be that as an audience member or as an active participant.

“They can be at home, within a care home, in a hospital, a hospice or within the local community. The opportunity to be creative or appreciate creativity should never be denied.

“Off the back of the great success of the current New Tricks sessions, we hope to set up many more groups in the coming months and years to create a vibrant culture of enjoying, learning, playing, writing and sharing music with others.”

The grant reflects the strong reputation that soundLINCS has forged during its 20 years of existence. Its mission is to provide a service that enhances and encourages the development of music in an enjoyable way.

A non-profit organisation that operates across the East Midlands, not only in Lincolnshire, it offers training and an array of workshops, promoting all kinds of music genres, from samba and pop to production and technology. It also creates toolkits, apps and books designed to provide music-making opportunities to as many people as possible.

The work of soundLINCS is not just confined to a studio either. The organisation helps young children in schools, patients in hospitals, young parents, people with special needs and those living in isolated rural areas.

New Tricks focuses very much on older adults, however, and sessions are currently running in Lincoln, where the organisation is based, Boston, North Hykeham, Spalding, Grantham, Grimsby and Woodhall Spa, as well as Gainsborough. Genres vary from folk, blues and classic rock through to ukulele and drumming. To see a full listing of sessions, please visit www.soundlincs.org/new-tricks.

So, if you’re an existing or brand new musician wanting to join a session, or you run a venue that could possibly host a New Tricks session, then why not get in touch with soundLINCS? Maybe you’re simply desperate for a session to start up in your neighbourhood. To register your interest, simply call 01522 510073.