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MID Practice Forum - 29th October 2015

MID Practice Forum - 29th October 2015

29th October 2015

On Thursday 29th October MID held its Practice Forum at the Kobi Nazrul Centre in East London.

Music In Detention runs Practice Forums once or twice a year to bring together lots of different members of the MID family, including practitioners, the core team, volunteers, researchers and colleagues from partner organisations to discuss practice and share ideas.

Bedford MID musician Aga got the energy flowing with a fun warm up activity which involved improvising with voice and chair:

Aga's warm up

Aga's warm up

Following the warm up, our first discussion was around artist independence, that is to say:

How do MID artists articulate their independence?

How do MID artists articulate their independence?

Overall this was a useful opportunity to reflect on one of MID's core values of independence and gave practitioners the opportunity to reflect on how they are articulating this and share ideas with others.

Just before lunch we had time for the MID update. This is a standard item on the Practice Forum agenda normally delivered by one of the MID staff team. However, whilst planning this day it was suggested that it might be more fun to give the headlines in musical form, since after all this day was all about bringing a wealth of musical talent together.

Armed with a side of A4 of updates, MID artist Alex D Great took up the challenge and delivered the MID update as a Calypso, the results of which have been captured for wider enjoyment:

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At the MID update

Calypso

Alex D Great performing the MID Update Calypso

Alex D Great performing the MID Update Calypso

Thanks to Alex for a magnificent update, prepared with incredible speed and ease! Musical updates are certainly here to stay.

Following an excellent lunch provided by Cafe Bites, the discussion moved on to Community Exchanges. To introduce this concept to those unfamiliar with this strand of MID's work, we played a medley of recorded questions and answers sent between detainees and community groups over the years:

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Questions and Answers - medley

Questions and answers

And showed this video:

Young Blood Generation

We then split into groups and sent messengers to share musical ideas for other groups to build on, culminating in each group performing a final piece that took inspiration from their own ideas and those of another group.

Communicating through music

Communicating through music

Collaborative songwriting

Collaborative songwriting

Following this practical activity we reflected on the techniques that had been used in facilitating this exchange of musical ideas and pooled our thoughts:

Ideas around Community Exchange techniques

Ideas around Community Exchange techniques

Community Exchange

Community Exchange

The day finished with a discussion around the role of our Volunteer Workshop Assistants and how this role could evolve and develop in the future.

Future involvement of volunteers

Future involvement of volunteers

Overall the day was a great success and left everyone feeling re-energised and armed with new ideas ready to feed back into their practice. There was definitely a buzz in the room at the end of the day, with conversations continuing into the street and a real excitement building around MID's future work.

Feedback from Jo

Feedback from Jo

Feedback from Sarah

Feedback from Sarah

With special thanks to Douglas Noble who, as always did a fantastic job of facilitating the day, keeping the discussion flowing and getting the most out of a varied schedule, as well as putting a lot of time into its planning.

And finally, thank you to the brilliant team of MID artists, volunteers and partners for their invaluable energy and input to the day in contributing thoughts and ideas and giving everyone plenty to go away and think about.

We look forward to the next Practice Forum in April!