Everything we do at Kinetika Bloco is normally loud, large, and involves lots of contact. So the current lockdown has been an interesting challenge for us to navigate. However, we’re working hard to continue supporting young people at this time, by providing opportunities for them to gather socially online, and continue to develop their music, dance and leadership skills. We want them to emerge from lockdown connected, empowered, resilient and ready to get on with life.
To help you do the same, here are some of the online activities our members have been enjoying… and where better to start, than with ourselves?
Tulse Hill After School Club and Online Rehearsals
Every Thursday, and fortnightly on Fridays, we’re running our Tulse Hill After School Club and Rehearsals respectively, online. Both sessions are open to young people aged 10-25 years old and we’re always happy for new people to join us. It’s never going to be the same as Bloco face-to-face, but for now, if you play a drum, brass or woodwind instrument, or like to dance, you can join us to play along with other young people.
It might sound a little terrible at times due to internet latency, and it may be a little awkward joining as a new person online, but we’ll do our best to give you the normal Bloco welcome, and the final result is always entertaining. You’ll also get to work with some inspiring local musicians who can help you with your instrument practise.
classes and activities from a New Orleans Academy
In November we got the opportunity to visit New Orleans and meet the most amazing music teacher, Mr. Bower and his students at Renew Dolores T. Aaron Academy. We spent a day with them playing music and they duly became our firm friends. Mr. Bower’s Enrichment team at the DTA Academy have put together a whole website of Art, Music, Dance, Garden, Home and PE activities that you can follow online. Great for children and young people, and they give you a little flavour of New Orleans at the same time! Mr Bower and his team were really excited that we were sharing this, so if you use any of the resources let them know on social media.
create your own jam sessions with this app
We’ve been playing with Endless with some of our team and young people. It’s a great new App where you can create your own jam sessions and invite your friends and family to join in. Created by DJ Tim Exile, who we performed with at the Roundhouse in 2015, it is a great way to practise your music skills, or liven up those family Zoom chats. At the moment it is only available on iPhone but our young members are certainly enjoying it.
Create your own community concert
Here’s an idea for some real-life music. One of our young flute players was invited to join singer Emma Jüngling who set up a community concert on their street. Sam Reyntiens played on four pieces in the concert, which raised £1,900 towards supporting local out-of-work artists who have lost much of their income at this time. ‘I enjoyed performing and being able to help people who are out of work by raising money,’ Sam told us. ‘I also really enjoyed seeing all my neighbours!’ Why not set up your own Community Concert for a great cause? Or just to share some music and joy in your neighbourhood.
fed up of playing solo? Try this app
Since lockdown began Noah, one of our saxophone players, has been missing playing in all the school, community and Bloco groups that he is a part of. So to partly fill the gap he’s been using the iReal Pro app, which simulates a real-sounding band to accompany your practise. It also lets you collect chord charts from your favourite songs and gives you some practise targets. ‘I can search through chord charts and backing tracks for songs to help me with my practise,’ explains Noah. ‘If I hear a track I like I can have a go at playing it. I don’t have to rely on asking other people to help. I can try out stuff on my own which is great.’
stay fit whilst learning dances to your favourite chart tracks
And lastly if you need an extra work out after PE with Joe Wicks, Atl Ongay-Perez, our trumpet playing junior ice-skating champion, recommends RefitRev. Atl tells us ‘I love RefitRev dance workouts because it gives me space to let out all my energy and there’s no teacher telling me if I’m right or wrong’.
Oh, and we can’t really end without sharing with you this recent Instagram post of Atl playing his trumpet in a somewhat unique way.
With thanks to the young people of Kinetika Bloco; Aneira, Shay, Remi, Noah, Sam, Phoebe, Atl, Kathy, Ola, Jermaine, Ben, ZyAnn, Andy, Laura, Alana, Andre, Misha, and Richard.
The show must go on(line)
Sadly, for everyone’s safety, our venues are currently closed. But you can still get your Southbank Centre fix online. We will continue to share inspiring and thought-provoking arts stories through our website and social channels.
As a charity, we rely on ticket sales for a huge chunk of our income. But now they’ve stopped. And it's a huge worry to us, and the people we work with. We all need the escape of art and culture; it can inspire and unite us. So please – if you can afford to – consider a donation to the Southbank Centre today, to help us be there for you in the future.