Phil’s Story

28 March 2023

Advanced Music Mentor

My role is to give young people the time and space to become musicians, helping them grow through tuition, demonstration, and expression. I use music in a way that’s accessible and straightforward and have always believed it can be a vehicle for addressing and resolving many issues that young people face.

How it began

I’ve always known about MYA through my wife who has worked there since time began! I’ve always had music in my life, too. I was the kid in school who liked bands that only older people had heard of, surprising teachers that I knew who Captain Beefheart was.

Music got me through a tough childhood. I had a burning ambition to become a recording artiste. I wanted my bands name on vinyl – that’s what drove me for the next 20 years. I achieved all that I wished for so after getting dropped in 1993, I retrained as a youth worker and later became a qualified counsellor.

Why MYA?

When MYA relocated to Hanover Street in 2002 I heard they were looking into using music to develop their services, and applied for a role as a community music worker. I was interviewed by a group young people. It was a tough interview, but I got the job.

The best bit

I see myself in many young people I’ve worked with. I was that young person from the estate, disaffected and up to no good. I was given a guitar that changed my outlook completely. I stayed at home and learned how to play, while my friends got involved within the criminal justice system. I found determination and purpose. Noise has been the greatest form of free therapy you could ever wish for. Music fixes lives. It fixed mine.