Mozart and Me
Throughout the Mozart and Me project, Ignite Imaginations’ successfully worked with ten targeted groups (approximately 105 people) across Sheffield, Barnsley and Rotherham. For each group, two artists with an expertise in different art forms delivered three workshops to explore the music of Mozart and participants’ connection to the music.
The groups reached included AFAB Adults with Asperges, Artworks who work with artists living with learning disabilities, Creative Recovery Barnsley, a people led organisation who support people to boost their wellbeing through creativity and Forget Me Nots Community Choir, a community choir that included participants with memory loss and participants who are partially sighted and living with hearing loss.
The diversity of the groups, including age, disability and socio- economic status was a real measure of success for the project and lack of previous opportunity is something that participants’ and partners remarked upon.
“A lady told us she had not been to any sessions like this before because she did not feel
confident. By coming to the session, feeling welcome and taking part she said she had gained some confidence and would be more likely to come to a community activity again.”
(Rotherham Rise, Partner)
Workshops were delivered by high calibre Ignite Imaginations’ artists including visual arts,
contemporary dance, South Asian dance and puppet-making.
From the artists’ feedback on the project, 100% artists agreed that participants had learnt or
developed their confidence and creativity with arts and crafts, performing arts, collaboration emotional intelligence, and decision making highly referenced also.
Please see below two short case-studies promoting the skills development aspect of the project:
“Two [adults living with disabilities] who were initially reluctant to move their bodies very much
during the dance sessions were enabled using finger lights. The dance artist encouraged
participants to focus on the lights to create patterns on the walls, and surfaces, changing the
shape & pattern of lights in response to the music. This technique meant that in focussing on the
lights, they un -self- consciously moved their arms rhythmically to join in.”
(Artist Feedback on participants)
“One participant living with physical disabilities after the first session of Mozart and Me went
home researched Mozart and then also learnt a pieces of music to do as solo song by Mozart and
shared this with the group. I don't think the participant had done a solo to the group before.”
(Artist feedback on Forget Me Not participant)
Ignite Imaginations developed two short participant questionnaires either word-based or image-
based and partners could select which questionnaire was more suitable for the needs of their
group. In person feedback was also given at the workshops and at the project celebration.
From the image-based paper feedback, it was clear that participants’ favourite things to learn
were ‘music’, ‘dancing’ and ‘arts and crafts’. Participants stated that the thing they thought they
would remember was ‘new friends’, ‘learning new things’ and ‘the artists’. At the celebration
participants commented about their learning...
“[I learnt] about Mozart- when he died, what kind of music he made”
“[I loved] making the work while listening to music.”
“[I learnt] about Mozart, script writing and puppet making”
One important element of the project was the bringing together of groups for the Mozart and Me Celebration event which successfully achieved the project aims to ‘1) offer connectivity and creativity in times of isolation 2) work across the county to give a sense of togetherness and celebrate the creative outputs to increase confidence and a sense of achievement.’
Approximately 50 participants attended the celebration which aimed to bring participants together, increase connections through a common experience and to showcase the artworks created. Participants and supporting staff participated in a group dance warm-up activity, everybody could see the exhibition of work that had been created across the groups, plus a group voice recording and puppet show were performed, speeches from participants and partners as well as a VIP lunch.
“Recording the voice over, listening to it at the event made me joyful, happy, and cheerful.” (Participant)
“I was proud to get up on the stage and explain about the project” (Participant)
“Thank you again for yesterday. The group is absolutely buzzing about it - it really affected them...thank you for giving them the opportunity to perform something that was so meaningful and inspiring” (Partner, Forget Me Nots Community Choir talking about the celebration)
Artists described the legacy of the project to be “Participants have shared a real interest in Mozart and his life and struggles; it has made his music accessible.”, “increased skills & self - confidence for the participants - increased skills for staff supporting the group - increased skills for artists working in collaboration - greater feeling of having worked on something larger and connecting with new communities in the region” and “[The project was] a great way to make friendships and develop important social and creative skills.”
As described in the interim report, the biggest challenge for the project was the impact of covid
restrictions on the project and participants’ and staff health, which also the reason why only two
more groups were recruited rather than the three stated in the interim report.
Due to staffing changes, the impact of covid on delivery and timeframe, in the end, the
celebration event was not delivered in partnership with Music in the Round however this did not
hinder the success of the celebration event.
To close, all artists and partners that fed back responded positively to how the project had
achieved Scops Arts Trust aim ‘to give people a better quality of life through experiencing the
“A participant is usually very isolated. Through this they often don't feel like they have an active
role or voice in society. The project gave them the opportunity to share their creative ideas and
see them realised in terms of creative script writing and puppet making. This helped the individual
grow in confidence to share their ideas and have pride in what they achieved. Working towards
the celebration event has given them a positive focus and something to look forward to every
week. They feel like they have an integral role in the performance, and this has heightened their
self-esteem and understanding of how participating in the arts can have a huge impact on an
individual's life.” (Artist Feedback)
“One of participants who engaged in these sessions is relatively new to Creative Recovery. She
was initially rather nervous and self-depreciating in her approach. However, over the series of the
sessions she began to open up, share her experiences and become bolder in the creative
conversations and activities. The Mozart inspired mediation exercise also reminded her of how
helpful mediation and mindfulness is in her life and she described how she has now begun to
meditate again at home, which is helping her to find space to self-care around her caring
commitments.” (Artist Feedback)
Finally, it has been an absolute pleasure for Ignite Imaginations to develop meaningful relationships that have momentum with new partners across the county. Based on the partners’ feedback it is anticipated that more work will be developed of this ilk in the future with Ignite Imaginations; with one new project with Artworks already underway, developed due to the success of Mozart and Me.
“I wanted [the project] not to end”
(Southey Green Primary School Participant Feedback)