Introducing ‘Four by Eight’

Photo: Introducing ‘Four by Eight’

‘Four by Eight’ is our new music based programme

Through ‘Four by Eight’ DIY Theatre offers unique training and development opportunites to emerging musicians with and without learning disabilities alongside a programme of music based workshops and residencies offering high quality engagement in music for children and young people with learning disabilities.

Thanks to Youth Music we have funding for one and a half years for this inovative work.


photo of DIY artists making music with range of instruments with words 'Emerging Musicians Opportunity'

In March 2022 we were looking for our Four by Eight!

We asked for expressions of interest for this Free Training and Development Opportunity for emerging musicians interested in developing their inclusive practice. [
This application process is now complete so links to details have been removed from this news item.]

Stage 1 of the programme will run from March through to the end of May. Artists who have completed this training will be able to apply to become involved in Stage 2 of our  ‘Four by Eight’ project. Eight emerging musicians, including four artists with learning disabilities, will continue to Stage 2 of the programme which will offer additional training and real life opportunities working in local schools and youth settings.

Although I’ve worked with groups of learning disabled participants before, this was the first time I’d led a session with a participant group like this. I was relieved to find the participants and other practitioners to be extremely helpful and friendly, and I feel I’d be much more confident to lead groups of learning disabled participants in future.”

Inspiration for our ‘Four by Eight’

‘Four by Eight’ is inspired by, and builds on, our ‘Circus Tricks!’ project. Begun in early 2020, before Covid Lockdowns ‘Circus Tricks!’ was originally designed as a live performance–workshop which would tour Special Schools and youth organisations. Our Passing the Baton Young Leaders worked with professional musicians to create a live and interactive sound scape and developed musical participatory activities for children and young people with a learning disability. When the Lockdowns began our Young Leaders rose to the challenge and adapted the project to become a resource which can be accessed remotely with or without online workshops. This fun resource is still available via the Circus Tricks Resource page and can support learners to gain their Discover and Explore Arts Awards. ‘Circus Tricks!’ showed that there was a need and potential for more music opportunities within our Youth Arts Programme and within partner schools.

Due to Lockdown our learners had missed the opportunity to complete their Discover Arts Award as usual. ‘Circus Tricks!’ meant that they were able to catch up on this learning.”
Sadie Smith, Teacher, Chatsworth High School

Why Music?

We have been using music in our performances for many years but during the Covid crisis of 2020 and 2021 making music and creating songs became even more important. Covid-19 posed huge challenges to our members and to the children and young people we work with.

The role of music during this time was crucial – we found ways to create collaborative songs, to embed music into films and incorporate music into performance. It played a central role in supporting people to share anxieties, build confidence and improve health and wellbeing.”

During the pandemic music has become very important to us as an organisation and through our Four by Eight project we hope to ensure that music remains central to our practice in the future.



This opportunity is made possible through the support of Youth Music. Youth Music logo

DIY’s Four by Eight has now finished and it’s impact has been evaluated. Please click to view the Summary Report.