Multi Media Practitioner
Starting out as a youth worker for Sheffield City Council in the early 1990s, I built my career as a music producer, performer and educator. By 1995 I had founded a non-profit organisation called the Music Making Movement, which provided free training and recording time for young people in Sheffield, UK. Our multi-media recording studio, established in 1999, enjoyed a number of successes before I left the UK in 2003.
My multi-media products are mostly music based, although I also enjoy designing websites and video projects. I have been teaching Cubase music production software since 1995. As a producer, performer and educator I am constantly looking for new innovations that make the creative process more efficient and enjoyable.
My expertise in this area stem from my practice as a youth worker. Focusing primarily on young people facing multiple disadvantages, I combine informal education methods with my love of multi-media production. Whether working in a school, youth centre, recording studio or freelance I use information and communication technologies (ICTs) as vehicle to reach a shared destination. Of course, the journey (or process) is more significant than the destination (or outcome) in this line of work.
Drawing on a well-established trend of youth work as informal education (www.infed.org) I have developed my own style of counselling and guidance. Part of my ongoing research mission is to reflect upon, describe and disseminate my methodology, highlighting generic and specific features. A strong focus on narrative and the negotiation of power relations are key features of my method. My doctoral thesis documented this approach as one similar to the notion of horse whispering. My supervisor suggested similarities with Carl Rogers' client-centred therapy, which I have since drawn upon to strengthen my 1:1 counselling, advocacy and guidance skills.
My interest in research began half way through my undergraduate degree programme. I was planning to study crime and deviance in my second year simply because I thought it would be a subject to which I could relate. As I began to read Howard Becker's book "Outsiders" my mind started to work overtime on a new way of thinking. Until this point I had read social science literature begrudgingly for coursework. Since reading about labelling theory and symbolic interactionism I developed a keen interest in crime, deviance, difference and rebellion. Especially working with young people on the margins I found it a stimulating and challenging exercise to apply theory to my practice.
Since that initial fusion of youth work practice and sociology I have pursued a number of related interests. As a practitioner with access to young people's actions, views and opinions, I developed my social and education research skills. Check my research page for more details.