Changing Lives

Music MAKING a DIFFERENCE?

Plymouth Music Zone's youngest ever participant was 9 days old - the oldest is 94 and counting. So many stories to tell. Stories of change. Stories of courage. Stories that inspire...

When a person first comes through the door at Plymouth Music Zone it means the world to us that they finally leave having had an experience that has had a truly positive impact. Whether it's feeling more confident, listened to, more self-expressed, less isolated and lonely, having made new friends, having a sense of achievement from creating something or performing in front of a crowd, feeling more valued and accepted for who they are, excited about their new found talent, or having a new found firm belief in themselves as a musician - some kind of difference that's meant the world to them...

Here are just a few of the PMZ stories where your support really does help music to make a difference...


LYNSEY - AN INSPIRATION TO US ALL

Meet Lynsey Dart, musician, singer, actress, dancer, all round performer …. and much, much more.  This is Lynsey’s story.  It’s a story of exceptional positivity, courage, resilience and just to top it all, Lynsey has the loudest laugh you’ve ever heard and a wicked sense of humour!

Lynsey came to Plymouth Music Zone as one of PMZ’s first Big Lottery funded Apprentices within our four year ‘Project Crossovers’ programme in 2013.  Project Crossovers provided opportunities for apprenticeships for young people (25+) with disabilities and when Lynsey came for her interview, it was clear there was something very special about her.

Lynsey had been singing since the age of 5 and had been part of the amateur dramatic scene since she was 16.  She’d been principal singer in numerous shows at Babbacombe Theatre, so performing was deep in her blood, something Lynsey had always done and the thing she loved most in life.

In 2009 Lynsey’s life changed dramatically.    She was involved in a serious car accident which left her unable to walk, speak, in fact unable to do anything apart from communicate with her eyes.  After four months in an induced coma in a specialist neurological hospital, Lynsey’s therapy began.  Areas of Lynsey’s brain had been damaged by the accident, but she was determined not to let it stop her.  Supported by family and friends, and going through hydro-therapy, speech therapy and anything else on offer, Lynsey started writing a blog to help get herself through many months of frustration during her recovery.  

By the time we met Lynsey in 2013, she was studying Music and Sound Technology at Plymouth’s ‘Deep Blue Sound’.   One of the few females on the course, and the only person with a disability meant that she was singled out immediately.  She couldn’t walk (she used a wheelchair) and speaking was difficult, but Lynsey showed the lads what she was made of and eventually became what she called ‘one of the boys’.  When she came to PMZ her gutsy, fun-loving personality soon made itself know across the PMZ team too.  At PMZ’s quarterly ‘Team Days’ Lynsey’s laugh would stop everyone in their tracks and no-one could help but join in. 

When she started with us Lynsey supported music leaders in different residential homes across the city.  Music Leaders running the sessions told us how Lynsey helped the older people, sitting with them and talking to them, even though her own physical disabilities were probably as bad if not worse than many of those in the home.  She brought them her laughter, she helped them realise that no matter what, you can still do things, in your own way.  Nothing can stop you from trying.

As time went on, Lynsey worked in other sessions, including ‘Digital Orchestra’ a session for young people with disabilities, where she was able to compose and use her music technology skills with other people experiencing their own physical challenges.

In the summer of 2013, Lynsey, as part of the ‘PMZer’ Forum, arranged to meet other members of the Forum and some PMZ staff at an event in Plymouth.  Iorchestra was a project of the Philarmonia Orchestra that let you ‘step inside’ a real, virtually projected orchestra.  A huge installation was housed in a massive marquee on the plaza in the centre of the city.  An easy walk for most of us, an easy wheelchair ride for most too.  But what happened was just extraordinary.

Waiting outside for everyone to arrive, PMZ staff spotted Lynsey approaching.  She wasn’t in a wheelchair, she was walking.  It was the first time she’d done it outside the hospital and even with the help of a frame each step was a massive challenge for her.  But she did it, she got around the whole exhibition on her own two feet. 

For the rest of Lynsey’s time with us, she helped us with so many different projects.  Despite her frustrations and disappointment at not getting her old voice fully back, Lynsey has never been scared of getting involved in whatever way she can.  From working in the studio helping others use the recording desk to talking to year 7 pupils about her experience, Lynsey’s story leaves others moved and inspired, humbled by her amazing, indefatigable spirit. 

Nothing has stopped Lynsey from doing what she loves the most.  She continued to perform live with 'Fembots' a digital music duo and she's still pushing herself to learn more.  She completed her degree at Deep Blue Sound and achieved the highest marks in her year, for which she received a special award.   When she finished her time at PMZ, she moved down to London to continue her music technology studies at the University of West London.  

Lynsey once said of PMZ: “I wouldn’t change anything about my life, not even the accident, because if it hadn’t happened I wouldn’t have come here”.  We take our hats off to you Lynsey, keep on making your music and being your inspirational self.

You can watch Lynsey talking about her time at PMZ here.

 

 

 

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LYNSEY - AN INSPIRATION TO US ALL