Mônsŵn was established to provide children and young people with positive opportunities and experiences of music making and performing arts. Everyone can take part in Mônsŵn sessions – whatever your abilities, experiences and knowledge of music and performing. It is enjoying and taking part that is important to us. We concentrate on participation and encouraging creativity. The services vary from the very first experiences, to providing specialist workshops that support our talented young people’s development.
They have been created to increase self confidence in beneficiaries; encourage team work and creative thinking; increase self-motivation and skill building as well as to have fun. Mônsŵn projects include
Mônsŵn and the Menter Iaith have collaborated since 2008 to hold Welsh medium fun days at the island’s secondary schools.
The Menter Iaith are aware that less Welsh is spoken socially by young people and wanted to provide more opportunities to for them to use the language. It also wanted to raise awareness about the opportunities available to them after school.
The fun days were targeted towards Year 9 pupils, and provided singing, drama, street dance and music making workshops...
These sessions broke down many barriers; those taking part gained the confidence to sing a newly learnt song in front of their peers, performed an improvised short drama and learnt new dance moves all through the medium of Welsh. Teachers from the schools gave positive feedback to the sessions noting how some pupils who do not usually take part in such activities showed enthusiasm and enjoyment.
As music making providers we identified the opportunity to offer ukulele sessions in local primary schools as an extra-curricular activity. The Ukulele is a very simple instrument to play whatever pupils’ experiences or knowledge of playing instruments, and by taking part it is hoped that it will lead to learning more instruments.
We provided 6 week lessons for up to 15 children at a time using the ukulele. Most pupils did not have any experience of playing the Ukulele, but after 6 sessions they were able to play a simple melody together, learnt to play chords and keep rhythm.
Singing is a great way for parents to transmit language to their children. Helpa fi Wneud Can is a resource that enables parents and children to sing together, learn new words and play simple instruments.
We recruited renowned artists to compose and perform the songs in our Bocsŵn studio. All primary schools in Ynys Môn received a booklet and CD, and workshops were held to introduce the songs to teachers and pupils. The CD is still being used in the schools and the project has now also been developed as part of the Menter Iaith’s provision in helping parents to speak Welsh with their children.
Following the success of “Helpa Fi Wneud Cân” a second CD was produced called Rimbojam, which targeted children between 7-11 years old. This project was commissioned jointly with Urdd Gobaith Cymru and the songs composed by Caryl Parry Jones. Rimbojam has toured Wales with over 10,000 children taking part in the lively theatre show as well as the individual workshops and stage shows Mônsŵn hold on Ynys Môn.