M – 24, Case Study – Story of Change 

M started attending Music for Everyone My Normal Group music-making sessions after a friend told him about the project. On the first session he attended, he told the group about some of his musical achievements – releasing an EP & performing. He also shared with us that he has been mocked for his 'emo' lyrics and had not performed in a long time because of this. At the end of his first group session, he shared with the group how he felt My Normal was a more 'grown up' group, which he liked and how important it was to him that it was a safe space for LGBTI+ young people & adults.

“When you're my age, your only option to be a part of the community is to go to pubs and clubs and be around drugs and alcohol, so I'm so glad there are other options like My Normal, it's so important to have more choice."

M grew up for a time with hearing loss & also has Epilepsy so discussed how he felt a  kinship with the intersectional nature of the project as he identifies as both LGBTI+ & Disabled.

“I feel like projects like these are great for integrating people from different backgrounds and brings them together to make something great.”

M started attending almost all the weekly group sessions as well as 121’s. He would often support other participants who were new to lyric writing and support them to do this, developing his leadership skills. He noted how these group and 121 sessions supported his musicianship.

“I have learnt things at My Normal that I have never before heard of in my music career."

As part of his engagement with My Normal, M completed a Bronze Arts Award (Level 1). M made a connection with Disabled Musician Gaelynn Lea via Twitter, who was his Arts Inspiration for his Bronze Arts and found out she was performing in Oxford and informed Hannah of this. Hannah arranged a talk with Gaelynn Lea before her gig in Oxford which M attended. M performed a song with Gaelynn at the talk as well as with her gig later that evening, which he also attended through My Normal as a gig trip.

“Without My Normal I wouldn't have had the confidence or the opportunity to perform with Gaelynn Lea”

M applied and got accepted to university to study a BA (Hons) Music and Sound Design. 

“Without the project, I think I wouldn't be perusing a career in music or had the portfolio which gave me my entry to university to get my degree for music.”

M is looking forward to coming back to Visit My Normal to share the knowledge he learns on the course with other My Normal Participants.