Societal Issues Targeted:
- Challenging negative cultural norms, like the belief that people who don’t know each other in public spaces shouldn’t engage in social interaction
Transport Jam is an afternoon of musical creativity where we explore the power of music to bring people closer together while transforming the boring, dull, and grey transport system into a magical oasis of creativity, fun and expression for everyone! Through this activity, commuters can have the chance to share positive social interaction with each other and the opportunity to play with their inner musician. This event takes our community one step closer to a cultural change–towards a future where sharing positive interaction on public transport is just a normal thing to do.
We ask people to each bring two instruments (or make them out of trash–suggestions in the forum), and it is your mission to give out one of them to the people you meet as we go, and to invite them to play music with us.
We usually hold an Instrument-Making Workshop somewhere nearby before, so we turn up prepared to get the event going with a group of people and a big bag full of cool instruments such as yoghurt pot shakers with rice, fizzy drink bottle trumpets, drums made from big tins, and so much more.
Don’t worry about musical ability, this event is great for anyone to explore and enjoy experimenting with music! But of course, it certainly helps to have 1 or 2 musicians along to set a rhythm and help lead the less confident folk.
Research in neuroscience puts forth that music can impact the intellectual, social and personal development of human individuals. Scientific findings reveal that there is considerable evidence that musical participation sharpens the brain’s encoding of sound leading to enhanced performance on a range of listening and aural processing skills, which in turn contribute to enhanced verbal memory, language skills and enhanced literacy. There is also compelling evidence for the impact of music making on spatial skills and to some elements of mathematical performance (Hallam, 2015).
- In countries where busking is normal, people will try to give you money! Its’ a nice compliment but it changes the message we are trying to spread so I’d recommend wearing or carrying signs saying “We don’t want money – we want you to experiment with music with us!” (cardboard with some string around your neck works well for this)
- Our event in London usually finishes in one of the city’s music venue and turns into a jam night to keep the party going. Everyone is always way too high on positive vibes to just go home!
- Trains have more space than buses.
- We’ve used rally points, but they don’t work well. There is a lot of extra work needed to organize and the day can be stressful waiting and running around finding people; lots of people intentionally miss the start because they know they can find you later.
- I find it a lot more enjoyable and relaxing to just jump on a train and go wherever the music takes us. If lots of people join in, stay with them. If you find a crowd too nervous to play, get off and try another route.
- To be sensitive to those who don’t like the noise, try to get on a quiet time, build up slowly, and ask people nearby if they are okay with the activity. Once we get into full swing, anyone not wanting to be part of it would simply not get on the carriage. The train is plenty long enough. Having a well-publicized sociable area at the back of the train might actually make the front of the train more likely to be quiet for those who are in need of security.