Despite being very behind with my blogging (partly due to house-move/no broadband for 2 weeks) I am really happy that a couple of people stumbled upon my blog and have got in touch, expressing interest in this field of work.
I thought I would write a quick blog post detailing the moves I have made over the last year, which hopefully will give others who are just starting out an idea of the processes and time scales I am working with…
August 2008: Started day job in Oxford. Made email enquiries to arts and health related people – they gave me further contacts… contacted further contacts (Community Development Worker (CDW), Oxfordshire County Council (OCC))
September 2008: International Music and Health Conference
October 2008: Meeting with CDW, OCC – puts me in touch with Age Concern CDW – first booking made for a ‘taster session’ at Age Concern Activity Day – attended Arts and Care Conference
December 2008: Taster Session at Age Concern Activity Day – 8/10 participants say they would like to take part in a singing session again
January 2009: Singing session with an Age Concern supported coffee club – further booking made for July 09
March 2009: Start ‘Singing for Fun’ group in Witney – running weekly for up to 10 weeks as an initial pilot period, supported by Age Concern and the District Council arts funding
April 2009: Business development – spent a day working out a business plan
May 2009: left the day-job! Made contact with CDW in different areas through Oxford Disability Information Fair – wrote to around 20 local residential care homes with ‘marketing materials’
June 2009: Wittfest! – start to pick up extra, one-off sessions in different contexts, some as a result of mail-shot to resi care homes
July 2009: – Conversations with Sing For Your Life about running 4 ‘Roadshow’ Silver Song Clubs in Oxford – more, extra, one-off sessions
August 2009: – Silver Song Club Roadshow – extra, one-off, sessions – discussions begin re event on 1st October UN Day of Older Persons…
That is roughly the journey I’ve taken – a big part of it is staying connected, being willing to do stuff for free/ on the cheap at first and being and staying visible by being responsive and saying ‘yes, no problem’
It would be really good to hear from other freelancers how they started up? What worked for you? What didn’t? Please feel free to use the comments box to share your journey.