Dean’s Big Music Project – Renfrew YMCA

Here’s how The Big Music Project helped Dean deal with his anger issues, becoming homeless and to care for his ill grandfather.

Over the next few months, we’ll be telling you some of the amazing stories from our hubs up and down the UK and Ireland. We’re really proud of what we’ve achieved and of all the hard work done by our hub workers and awesome champions. Here’s Dean’s story…


Dean’s Background

Dean was first introduced to the world of music performance 3 years ago when he was asked to to support a classmate at a local school talent contest.  Dean had never played the guitar before so was shown a few chords and in a short time performed in front of his peers and this gave him a new found confidence.  Dean later developed real anger problems, which caused issues at school and at home and led to Dean becoming homeless. Dean eventually found temporary accommodation through a homeless charity.

During this period, Dean was feeling lonely but continued to play and develop his music skills as a way to keep himself busy. Some time later, Dean moved out of the homeless shelter and into his granddad’s home, however his grandad was suffering from Alzheimer’s and Dean ended up caring for him.  As a carer, Dean did not have much of a social life so again he turned to his guitar as a way to take him to a better place.  When asked Steven feels that playing and writing his own songs is a form of therapy that has in part calmed his anger issues and helped him see things from different view points, so much so that he is now back at his families home.

Dean’s Big Music Project

When Dean started to attend Renfrew YMCA, they had just installed a new recording studio and this opened up a new world of musical opportunities for Dean to record his songs.  Dean was picked to go on a weekend residential with other young people to learn all about youth music projects and how to develop and deliver them. Since last September,  Dean had designed a 6 week block recording and songwriting workshop for other young people at Renfrew YMCA using what he leaned at The Big Music Weekend.

What’s next?

Dean hopes to further develop the music workshops so that Renfrew YMCA *the* place to go for youth music in the area.  This year Dean hopes to setup a record label or get signed himself and although he knows that both are difficult to achieve. Dean now sees new possibilities and opportunities previously not open to him through the exposure of the Big Music Project events and residential that he attended that has given him the confidence and self belief to not only design his own youth music workshops for Renfrew YMCA, but to help other young people going through difficult times and help them to use music as a positive way to channel what they are experiencing.