There is clear evidence that arts education improves confidence in children, but we believe this is the case no matter what your age.


Kathryn joined under the stars in February 2015. She had been referred by social services who had visited her to interview her and find out the type of activities she liked.


She already volunteered at the Royal Society for the Blind, but said she would love to do something where she could learn to make music.


Kathryn said: ‘music is in my family. My granddad was a natural on harmonica and my uncle saved all his pocket money to buy his first guitar and taught himself to play it.  I’ve always wanted to play music too’.


We found a place for Kathryn on our Monday music workshops.  She was painfully shy at first, and it was some months before we found out she was her mums' unpaid carer.


Kathryn’s mum was left disabled after a series of operations that had gone wrong.  She manages well in her home environment, but if she goes out, Kathryn needs to be with her.  Because of this she doesn’t get to socialise as much as other young women her age and it wasn’t easy for her to mix into a new group.


When we found out about her caring responsibilities we referred her to the Young Adult Carers programme at Sheffield Carers Centre.  Here she got access to a worker who was able to help her when she needed support and signpost her to other things that might interest her.


Despite being shy, as a musician, she was going from strength to strength.  She has excellent rhythm and quickly showed her natural talent on the drums.  She also tried out the guitar and keyboards during jam sessions and learnt how to DJ.  She loved her Monday singing group and showed how adept she was at remembering lyrics. 


She has performed her own DJ sets at our nightclub over ten times now.  Kathryn’s sets are guaranteed to fill the dance floor with pop classics she loves from artists like Rhianna, Little Mix and Olly Murs. 


Being a member of our workshops has not only helped Kathryn fulfil her dreams of becoming a musician, but also introduced her to a whole new world in terms of making friends and having the confidence to try new things.


Not content with just attending our Monday workshops, she also joined the all female band ‘The Sparkle Sistaz’ in 2018. Here she met a whole new group of friends and has performed as the lead singer on a couple of their original pop tracks. 


She made her first music video with the Sparkles in February 2019 which will be released on 8th March for International Women’s Day. The song is a poppy track about being proud to be a woman and not conforming to stereotypes of how women should be.  You can check it out on our Youtube Channel after March 8th.


Kathryn is such an asset to Under the Stars. As well as becoming a great musician, she is going to be one of our DJ ambassadors for a DJ project we are running in Doncaster. We are extremely proud of what she has achieved in a short space of time.


We asked Kathryn what her musical dreams were.  It took her about 3 seconds and a big smile before she declared ‘To write, record and release my own song one day’. 


We think we can definitely help with that!




Under the Stars

Under the Stars is an arts and events charity for adults with learning disabilities. 


Phone: 0114 233 1869

Registered Charity: 1179253

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