In 2019/20, Paragon reached over 650 participants across 641 inclusive music and dance workshops, including group workshops, one-to-one mentoring sessions, rehearsals, recordings, seminars and taster sessions throughout Scotland.

28 performances took place in Glasgow, Edinburgh, Dumfries, Dundee, East Renfrewshire and Stranraer. Venues included: CCA, Tramway, Platform Theatre, Tron Theatre, Glasgow Music Studios, Berkley 2, Glasgow City Halls, Theatre Royal in Dumfries, Gracefield Arts Centre, Stranraer Oyster Festival, The Stove, Loch Arthur Camphill Community, Glasgow Caledonian University, Schools and Day Care Centres. 372 parents and carers accompanied their children and supported adults and were able to participate in the creative workshops and performances. Over 3,120 audience members attended Paragon performances and events during the year.

We gather feedback on a regular basis that shows the difference we make to the lives of the people who attend our workshops, their families and support networks. Below are some of the outcomes we see regularly, illustrating the impact of being creative, having fun and socialising in nurturing and supportive environments.



(All names have been changed to protect anonymity)

Improved Confidence

"It was clear that their confidence has grown significantly with these workshops.  Danny, in particular has developed his own self-confidence and in the final performance was orchestrating the song and dance, and also did the final thank you to the Paragon staff which was amazing to see.”  (parent)

“To see Carol perform on stage with so many people watching is amazing, it's like she's in a wee bubble in her own world. She loves going to rehearsals and I always get shooed out the door when I drop her off. To see her more confident and sociable if fantastic for us.”  (parent)

Increased Independence

“Doing activities without Mum there and so having to rely and communicate with others is a vital step in any child’s development and growing independence.” (parent)

“Tune has played an integral, and invaluable role in my client's development. His main instrument is the drums, his tutor has amazing encouragement and teaching skills, he tells me how impressed he has been with my clients progress. Paragon is not just about giving clients access to musical equipment, it's about the positive, lasting effects the staff have on their clients and their future developments. In finishing I can now say that my client goes to his college course on his own, and when we have a befriending day he meets me in the City Centre, he is a changed young man from the man I first met, and Paragon has played a major part in him achieving this new freedom he now has achieved.” (support worker)

Improved Mental Wellbeing

I love playing music and i thought that especially this drumming was a really good idea and it is mindful because there is plenty of opportunity to close your eyes and get lost in the music. We can get really close to the end of the session and we have not even noticed because whatever rhythm we have started from whatever person has just gone on so well we’ve not even noticed the time and that’s a good thing because I think lots of people need that. You can forget about the world and everything that’s happening and just do some lovely drumming. Just enjoy yourself. It makes a difference.” (participant)

Improved Communication Skills

“Being in a group brings about an empathy for the others playing and an ability to connect not just with the instrument or tune that is being taught but the emotional interplay between him and the people playing.” (parent)

“Normally I struggle with eye contact but for some reason I can easily look at people at tune and m3. Paragon has also helped me with my confidence not to mention my coordination.” (participant)

Reduced Isolation for participants and families

“I, as a mum benefit, with this opportunity for my daughter to try some of the things that come naturally to most without me having to organise or support; The down time I get knowing that someone else is looking after her needs for a few hours; The opportunity to spend time with other parents, sharing everything and nothings.” (parent)

We really struggled to find sessions for Steven where he would be allowed to be himself, learn at his own pace, interest and ability. All of the Paragon team have shown a real understanding in how just being accepted can then build on a confidence to engage and  participate. You can clearly see the enjoyment in each and every session, and the progression in the musical ability and creativity is inspiring!!” (parent)

Increased Creativity

“Watching her create music as a collaborative exercise is amazing and the effect it has on her is magical. Her confidence, communication and her powers of observation are all very much enhanced by the workshops. She is developing a real love of, and aptitude for, music. The performance at the end is the perfect culmination and she loves her moment in the limelight.” (parent)

“It’s always a joy to be part of the workshops - all that controlled chaos which still produces some music at the end. And it is a challenge for the more experienced musician, as ideas change constantly - it does help my creative side as I need to come up with a bass part on the spot to follow what’s just been created - the only rule is to expect the unexpected, which always keeps me alert!” (participant)

Increased Access to Other Creative Opportunities

“Thank you for yesterday for the great opportunity of giving our daughter to fullfil her dream being in a proper recording studio led also by professional like yourself. My wife and I witnessed this. It was a real gift and life changing that  child could have to fulfil her potential. Paragon is a best of discovering and you assist young talent to expose and express themselves.” (parent)

Improved listening and team-working skills

“She is much more able to wait her turn (as others play their part). She is more patient and obviously better at playing music.” (parent)

“A has also developed and his willingness to help/assist others and his humility/empathy is a real strength.” (parent)

Paragon Peace

this is her how she is

being together how we are

dancing as we are

with rhythm in the room



being with him as he is

his drumming

his gestures 

his voice 

 

now all three of us laughing 

at a time 

a quiet room is desired 

for recording

all three of us still laughing

quietly



she notices power in her hands

she didn’t know she had

her hand dance

patting the air

and giving love outwards

she is desperate she says 

desperate she smiles

to play the guitar



just a piece

of

paragon peace



A Poem by Paragon Practitioner, Laini Chrismas.


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