Live Music Now

Kingfisher has been chosen to host a Music Residency (Fellowship) in conjunction with Live Music Now.  This is national charity that recruits and supports the most talented early career performers to deliver concerts, workshops and projects in a range of community settings including special schools. The sessions the musician offers the children aims to provide enjoyable musical experiences, support their musical development and general wellbeing.

Kingfisher’s Musician in Residency is Ben Sayah.

In 2016 Live Music Now launched a major new training initiative designed to equip musicians with the skills and experience to perform for and work with young people with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND).  Over the first two years of the programme 64 musicians have taken part in 10 group training days, 82 observation sessions and have delivered 534 core sessions. They have worked with 1202 young people and 543 school staff from 34 different schools across the UK.

Level 3 – the “LMN SEND Fellowship Programme” – provides a unique opportunity for selected individual LMN musicians to embed themselves in a special school for a year to support and enrich the music provision, and develop themselves as confident SEND music leaders.

At age 13, Ben’s grandparents took him to see Tommy Emmanuel live in Southport. Tommy Emmanuel instantly became Ben’s biggest inspiration as a guitarist. At the age of 15, Ben realised that music was what he wanted to commit his life to. In order to go on to study music at university, he had just 3 years to begin and complete his classical guitar grades with ABRSM. Ben achieved Grade 8 with distinction just in time to apply for university.

Ben studied Music at Salford, where his main focus was jazz and improvisation, ensemble playing and composition and arranging. During his time at Salford University, Ben became a huge fan of progressive rock and formed the progressive rock band, Scarlet Castles. He finished his degree with the highest performance mark of the year, achieving the Johnny Marr Performance Award.

After university, Ben spent a year overwhelmed and confused by the music industry. Gigging was not bringing in the money that Ben had hoped for and it was at this point that Ben began busking in Manchester. Ben was spotted by Kabantu percussionist, Delia Stevens, while he was busking a Tommy Emmanuel song that had amazed him just 9 years earlier. He is now a member of award winning band Kabantu, the winners of the Royal Over-Seas League Competition 2017.

So far at Kingfisher Live Music Now have made some amazing progress with the children. The children listen and respond to live music played by Ben, almost creating a musical conversation between the child and the musician. The responses from the children are so delicate and wonderful. In the video below you can see how the children look, listen, touch and vocalise as the music encompasses them.