Holloway music classes can ‘beat’ hate crime

Nadia Al Faghih Hasan and Angela Reith are starting a singing and percussion group in Mayton Street,

Nadia Al Faghih Hasan and Angela Reith are starting a singing and percussion group in Mayton Street, Holloway. Picture: Polly Hancock - Credit: Archant

In July, Islington MPs Jeremy Corbyn and Emily Thornberry called for Islington to “set an example” after a spike in hate crimes following the EU referendum.

So they will be delighted about next week’s launch of Sing and Drum in Holloway.

Aimed at everyone from babies to 100-year-olds, Sing and Drum is a free percussion music class to bring people together from different backgrounds and cultures.

It is the idea of music therapist Angela Reith and community music teacher Nadia Al Faghih Hasan.

They met at Holloway’s Mayton Street Festival in July. Post-Brexit hate crime was rife in the UK, including numerous incidents in Islington. Heeding the advice of Mr Corbyn and Mrs Thornberry, they wanted to do something about it.

Given their common backgrounds, they didn’t have to look far.

“We’ve both seen first hand that when people play music together, they feel great,” Nadia said.

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“Challenges, like hate crime after Brexit, come and go. Some people are angry, others afraid. You hear about things happening but the only way to deal with them is by taking it into your own hands and actually doing something.

“Angela and I are trying to take postive action. We can get lost in the fear factor, but it’s the role of the community to work against that.”

Sing and Drum will focus on songs and rhythms from across the globe: from Mali to Ireland to Georgia.

Nadia, 47, of Holloway, added: “We are about promoting ideas and eradicating ignorance. Nationality, religion, background and ideas can divide people.

“But music is a great empowering tool to bring people together. We will be teaching music for all. Songs from around the world. Everyone, of all musical abilities, will be welcome.”

Sing and Drum’s five-week pilot starts on Thursday at the Old Fire Station Community Centre in Mayton Street. It runs from 10am to 11.45am. For more information call Angela on 020 7609 8153 or Nadia on 07417 576648 or email SingDrumN7@gmail.com