During this summer project we worked with local charity Parasol Project to deliver a wide range of music sessions, ranging from DJing, song writing and music technology. Parasol is an inclusive project and we were able to work with young people who are disabled and non-disabled.


The OCM Parasol Music Project was a collaboration between Oxford Contemporary Music and Dan Parasol who runs the Parasol Project. 

The PARASOL Project is an Oxford based charity committed to redressing the balance for disabled and disadvantaged children and young people experiencing, or at risk of, social exclusion. Parasol achieves this by running its own inclusive teenage activities for disabled AND non disabled young people during term time and school holidays.

We wanted to collaborate with The Parasol Project so that we could widen access to music provision to teenagers with special needs as well as you typical average young person.

Together we decided to develop a project that would operate through a small series of informal workshops that young people could drop into.  


We wanted to create a project that enabled young people to experience a wide range of different and accessible music making activities, so over the course of 4 weeks we did just that.

Each week we put on a different music session and our time table was as below:

  • Session 1 – Singing and Movement workshop with Kathie Roy
  • Session 2 – Djing with DJ Danni “Dirty Freud” Skerritt
  • Session 3 – Song writing with Matt Sage
  • Session 4 – Vocal looping with Roshi Neshi

To support the music leaders delivering theses workshops OCM invited them and other music leaders to a disabilities awareness CPD event. (See Amplify My Practice project page.)

The Story

Singing and Movement

The first workshop in the series was led by Kathie Roy. Kathie took the young people from vocal warm ups to performance including rounds, body percussion and breathing techniques.


DJ Dirty Freud introduced his group to the wheels of steel, and took them through an interactive DJing session where young people experimented with scratching, mixing and other DJ effects.

Song writing

In this workshop Matt Sage worked with a group of about 10 young people who spent their session writing a song for Dan Parasol about the Parasol Project and their experiences.

Vocal Looping

Roshi Neshi brought in her loop pedal and worked with a large group of participants in a vocal layering exercise. The young people were able to produce 6 audio tracks each with multi levels of layering within them by the end of the session.

Impact on participants

Please see quotes.

Project Outcomes

This project was very successful and achieved all that it was supposed to.

Through this project we engaged over 25 young people we otherwise would not have come into contact with if it was not for the Parasol Project.

These are the same young people who otherwise would not get the chance to take part in music making activities like the ones we offered if not for this project, so all round everyone benefitted from it.

All 4 workshop sessions were well attended and participants had great time working with the music leaders.

Next Steps

OCM is keen to continue its partnership with The Parasol Project and provide music making session for young people during the school holidays.

Since the completion of the project, Dan Parasol has asked for OCM’s support in attaching Arts Award to the activities they offer as well as any future projects with us.

Staff from the East Oxford Early intervention hub have also approached OCM’s Education and Outreach Officer to discuss some afterschool workshops at the hub during the Autumn Term of 2014.

There is a lot of scope to continue this sort of work potential partner organisations should get in touch with our education and outreach officer on 01865 484787 if they are interested in working with us on similar things.

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