Music studio hits all the right notes

Phil Martin and Martin O'Nions who launched Access Music CIC at Notes Studios, North Shields.
Phil Martin and Martin O'Nions who launched Access Music CIC at Notes Studios, North Shields.

A North Shields recording studio has declared its landmark music programme a success after helping scores of children and people from deprived backgrounds access music.

Notes Studios, formerly known as the Gasworks, launched Access Music CIC last year in a bid to reconnect people with writing, producing and enjoying music in the community.

The programme – the brainchild of North East musicians Martin O’Nions and Phil Martin – has earned praise from supporters and funders North Tyneside Council, as well as the local community.

The men behind unique venture have gone on to oversee projects in partnership with The Phoenix Detached Youth Project based in The Meadowell, have just launched a 24 week Arts Award programme for young people from Norham High School and have delivered skill-building music sessions for individuals with special needs.

Martin said: “We’ve seen less and less young musicians using the studios over the past three years and the economy being the way it is, music appears unfortunately to have become a luxury, especially when it comes to tuition and playing in bands.

“It would be a crime if we suddenly realised in 10 years time there were no new musicians, bands and singers playing live, especially in this area, because no one had encouraged them or found the resources to ensure that doesn’t happen.”

For more about Notes Studios and Access Music visit www.notes-studios.co.uk


Martin added: “Our aim has been to provide opportunities for those in the local community that may not normally have the resources to access the services we can provide.

“We love mentoring young people and were driven by a desire to encourage them back to music. We help develop their interest, develop their skills and give them the confidence to perform in live events.”

Notes Studios – one-of-a-kind in North Tyneside – providing affordable, first-class recording and rehearsal facilities, has received invaluable funding from North Tyneside Council, of late to continue its programme along with the UK disabled charity United Response.

Mr O’Nions has said that the funding will enable the studio to continue to provide its unique service and resource for the benefit of the local community and has said Access Music is looking forward to an even better 2018.

He said: “We have amazing facilities here and it would be a massive shame not to put them to good use. Not only do we have the purpose-built rehearsal and recording spaces but the size of the facility allows people to do things like video and photo shoots, host live events and parties and lead us on to starting our Community Interest Company, Access Music.

“We’re really looking forward to working with yet more talented people in 2018 and can’t wait to provide more support to some amazing people.

“We are actively seeking funding or ideally sponsorship for a long-term programme to encourage young people to learn to play musical instruments, write songs, form bands, rehearse, record and perform live. If there are any interested parties out there, we’d love to hear from you.”

The Phoenix Detached Youth Project based in The Meadowell, North Shields, saw Notes Studios oversee writing and music and video production classes with young people for Organ Donation Awareness and Mental Health Awareness.

Phoenix Detached Youth Project manager Mike Burgess said: “We have been on an exciting journey over the last two years, with Martin and Phil from Note Studios and their Access Music Programme. They are passionate about developing opportunities for local young people who often have limited resources to enable them to access high-quality tuition and musical experiences.

“We have worked in partnership with Access Music and Norham High School to raise funding from North Tyneside Council, the Greggs Foundation, the RW Mann Trust and the Tyne and Wear Community Foundation (Chapman Fund).

“Those funds have allowed us to work with a range of local young people, refugees, young parents, pupils with additional needs from Norham School, and marginalised young people. The aim is to use music to improve young peoples mental well being, after supporting young people with food and fuel poverty this allows us to improve young peoples resilience and well being completing the circle.”