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Case Study : Cara

"I only come to school for Sound Communities!"

Recognising the potential within Cara and the need for a therapeutic approach, we provided a welcoming, safe space for her to explore her passion and creativity as well as working through her challenges.

Her love of music, talent and warmth were immediately apparent but profound issues of low self-esteem frequently overwhelmed her. She was very anxious, scared to touch the equipment in case she made mistakes, convinced that she was going to break things and constantly felt the need to apologise. She hated her singing voice.

When we first met 13-year-old Cara in our music intervention sessions at Preston Bridge School three years ago, we saw a young person grappling with low confidence and anxiety.

She enjoyed the sessions so much that they became her main reason for making it into school, turning up excited at the studios even when she hadn’t been feeling well. Her Thursday radio shows, complete with regular features such as ‘The Horns of Dilemma’ and ‘Guess the Hummed Track’, guest appearances and live text interactions became a firm family fixture; always fresh, funny and always with Cara front and centre, bringing her family together and connecting her with her grandmother who lives in France.

Her music-making, singing, mixing and presenting went from strength to strength as, tentatively, she learned to listen back to her own singing voice and began to allow small audiences into her creative world.

2023 really was an amazing year for Cara seeing her complete a number of Level 2 qualifications including AQA Lyric Writing, Filming and Editing, Digital Music Creation, a Level 3 in DJ Skills. She’s now doing RSL awards in Solo Music Composition and Music, Artist and You. She had a masterclass with international female DJ Re:ni to help inspire her own DJing, did some peer teaching, recorded an excellent voiceover for a Council commissioned EHCP animation for other young people and brought the house down with her DJ set at our packed Variety Night back in the summer.

"I really love doing our radio show and always make sure I am in school for all of the Sound Communities sessions… I only come to school for Sound Communities!"

Cara, 2023

"It's her favourite time of the week. She’s built so much confidence doing the radio broadcast and DJing with Mitch and Charlie. They really understand her and make her days so much more positive. DJing at the Variety Night left her on a high for days - she was so nervous but the team supported her so well and she was so proud of herself, it really boosted her self esteem."

Cara's mum, 2023