Challenge: Various disabilities
Caged Arts are a mixed ability band that are the first group to be formed via the music service - Therapy In Musical Expression (TIME). Comprising different ages, abilities and backgrounds, these individuals have defied limitations and demonstrated overwhelming creative ability.
The band consists of Vocalist, Gary Walker, Bass Player, Martin Connors, Drummer, Gavin Jones, and Session Guitarist and Vocalist, Tom Hughes.
"Initially, I was the percussionist in the first band that formed via TIME. As the group and my abilities progressed, I started to play the drums. As I have a history of social isolation, I had difficulties performing in front of other people. However, by attending regular TIME drop in sessions, I was able to increase my confidence" says Gavin.
Gavin has learning difficulties, which can make certain tasks hard to understand, but by being a part of Caged Arts and following musical directions, he has been able to develop many essential skills. Gavin has an art page, where you can view his work. Please visit: facebook.com/gavlart.
Vocalist Gary adds "For many years I was writing lyrics and melodies but had no way of incorporating them in to music. I was made aware of TIME and began attending their drop in music sessions. This process removed me from the highly reclusive lifestyle I used to lead and has drastically helped with the anxiety and depression I have suffered. Music is my ultimate passion and release. I want to share my thoughts, feelings and the frustrations with world and see Caged Arts as the perfect platform to achieve this".
"I met the rest of Caged Arts during my role as a voluntary instructor for TIME. It was during their sessions that I would pass on my musical experience and aided the formation of the band which became Caged Arts" says guitarist, Tom.
Tom received a diagnosis of Autism from a young age and was told that certain things would not be achievable for hom. He adds "However, I was integrated in to mainstream school, became fully independent and now feel that I have defied the limitations that I was labelled with".
The group are regulars on the live circuit, playing numerous venues and festivals across the Essex area. This includes appearances on mainstream music nights, which further promotes inclusion and removes the tag of disability that is sometimes applied.
Caged Arts - "Crystal Castle"