Shed Loads of Happiness: What Music Means to Me!

Shed Loads of Happiness: What Music Means to Me!

Shed Loads of Happiness: What Music Means to Me!

Sutton Music Trust knows that different types of music touch people in different ways, so we engage with and celebrate all forms of music and all abilities. Music is music! As part of the London Borough of Sutton’s Cultural Impact Award 2023, Sutton Music Trust showcased what music means to young people across the borough at the #SuttonSTEAMsAhead Shed Loads of Happiness event.

On the 1st of July 2023, Sutton Music Trust participated in the Shed Loads of Happiness project in Sutton High Street in collaboration with other community-based organisations to showcase the culture and a wide array of activities open to young people in the borough.


Building on our annual youth voice survey to students in Sutton’s schools about their musical preferences and perceptions of music and music education, pupils were asked to create images that showed what music means to them. The brief for this was developed with support from Arts Network Sutton, and we were delighted with the response from schools and pupils – we received over 300 images.


Our survey shows that music is incredibly important to young people. Over 3500 students responded last year, and when asked on a scale of 1-10 how important is music to your life, the average was 7.5/10, with over 30% of students giving 10/10. The images the students produced for us supported this data and gave valuable insights into the importance of music in the lives of young people. Many of the pupils described the mental health and well-being benefits of music.

“I like music because it makes me feel happy and calm.”

“I like to sing because it helps me to express myself.”

“For me, music is an escape from reality and gives me a way to be free.”

As a record of the role of music in the lives of young people in 2023, all of the images created have been given to the London Borough of Sutton Cultural Services team to be added to the borough’s digital archive and saved for future generations.

We were also very happy to host an amazing young singer-songwriter – Shanelle Rodrigo, who played a few original pieces and some unique adapted covers. She managed to wow the crowd with her stellar performance and truly showcase the immense skillset of all Sutton Music Trust students.

"One thing that stood out to me was the range of musical genres represented in the artwork. Each piece beautifully captured the essence of various musical styles, from classical compositions to modern beats. The young artists effectively utilised different mediums, including paints, sketches, and mixed media, to translate the emotions evoked by the music they described."

The Sheds Loads of Happiness project truly exemplifies the power of creativity and self-expression in the lives of young artists. Integrating music and visual art resulted in a unique and inspiring exhibition. The facilitators created a nurturing environment that encouraged collaboration, personal growth, and the exploration of individual identities through art.

Get Involved

Sutton Music Service has a comprehensive range of music-making activities for children and young people to get involved with, including bands, orchestras, choirs, music production, DJing, and songwriting. Visit to see what is on offer!

We welcome any young person to come and #MakeMusicWithUs in a friendly and exciting environment.