Building Better Opportunities – Focus#5 & Positive People partnership success stories

Pink is a #Focus5 participant who due to a number of issues including the impact of Covid 19 had stopped going out and was spending most of their time on their own in their room. Pink started writing songs using a ukulele and was given a guitar last Christmas which they taught themself to play. When Pink joined #Focus5 in May their Key Worker asked to listen to some of the songs they’d been working on and was blown away by how good they are! After several live performances in the back garden summer house with an audience of one very enthusiastic Key Worker, Pink was encouraged to sign up for some recording sessions at Sound Gallery Studios where they recorded ‘Seventeen’. Check it out…

Emily has gone through an exciting journey finding her way and finding her voice. After visiting the Academy of Music and Sound with a Focus 5 keyworker, Emily felt inspired. An application for their Level 3 music course soon followed and so did an application to Exeter College. Part of the application process meant that Emily had to sing for the tutors, an extraordinary achievement. Needless to say, Emily impressed and was granted a place on both courses.

Emily decided to accept the offer from Exeter College, where she now studies. As part of her journey in gaining confidence in her artistic abilities, Emily was referred to Sound Gallery Studios where she recorded this beautiful interpretation of Pinball Wizard by The Who.

Becoming a voice over actor is Ben’s dream and he got to experience this when he stepped into the recording studio. Ben enjoys comic character monologues and practising with different styles and accents. He thoroughly enjoyed recording the monologues and found working with our sound engineer to be fascinating and fun. Listen to Ben’s awesome work here: Ben samples being a voice-over actor

 Building Better Opportunities

#Focus5 Project 

Sound Gallery CIC is a specialist delivery partner in the #Focus5 Project which is funded by the European Social Fund and the National Lottery Community Fund. The #Focus5 project provides in-depth support to young people aged 15-18 across the Heart of the South West Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) area to move towards education, employment and training.

Sound Gallery’s role in this project is to provide music-making activities for young people who are ‘at risk of social exclusion’. This programme utilises music as a means of re-engaging young people with the outside world with an aim to increase confidence and employability skills and enhance their abilities to reach their full potential in life.

Positive People programme

Sound Gallery is also working with Cosmic as part of the Positive People programme. ‘Positive People’, aims to help over 1,300 individuals (24 years +) who are out of work to build their skills, confidence and motivation. This will include people with disabilities, mental health issues, ex-offenders, homeless people and people over 50 and will provide support for individuals will include basic literacy and numeracy skills, help to master digital technology, and preparation for work including job search.

Method of delivery: 1:1 studio-based sessions or remotely via Zoom

Sound Gallery Studios provision:

Recording studio experiences

The recording studio is an intimate, creative space designed to encourage young people to express themselves and record their musical ideas, lyrics and vocals under the guidance of our experienced studio engineer.

Creative Music Technology sessions

Participants are introduced to the use of computer software (GarageBand, Logic Pro, Reason etc) with an aim to help them write, record and produce their own music. We also provide participants with information and guidance on how to put together their own home studio set-up.

Electronic music production sessions

Learning how to create contemporary electronic and dance music using modern Digital Audio Workstations, including Logic Pro, Pro-Tools, Reason and Ableton Live. Learn the process of Electronic Music Production, including programming loops and beats, sound design, and mixing and mastering, to create your own tracks.

Music industry advice sessions

As part of a young person’s musical journey, learning about the music industry and how to promote their music on the internet and via social media platforms can be a daunting task. Thanks to our association with Integrity Records, one of the U.K.’s longest running truly independent record labels we are now able to offer music industry advice sessions on copyright, marketing and promotion, sustaining a career in the music industry, pitching your music to the industry and more.


“I have found #Focus5 very helpful. I don’t think I would be in the position I am now without the support of my key worker. I feel the support I have received should be made widely available to all young people.” Read more: Building confidence for a new music course

It was good. It was fun but I also got a lot of experience. I learned more about what sounds good in a whole composition and how different this is to just singing and playing guitar. I learned a lot from it. Wish I could have had more time and that the sessions were closer together. It would have been nice to have worked just on one song to perfect it and had I known that at the beginning I would have just chosen one. I could have benefitted from more guidance at the beginning as first time in a recording studio. Maybe need more of an introduction/explanation at the beginning about how the sessions can be used/what can be achieved in the time given – Pink

Sound Gallery provide support to our participants by providing them with a supportive and understanding environment for them to explore an area of interest and grow as an individual. Participants gain confidence, a sense of achievement, communication skills, increased self esteem and self worth alongside their exploration of music and sound, and the skills they learn from the activities they undertake. Providing a safe, accepting space is vital in engaging with our vulnerable young people, and the Sound Gallery provide just such a space. Their excellent work and ongoing support of the project has been and continue to be really valuable – Nee Bedford, Contract Manager #Focus5, CSW Group Ltd

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