Competition: win prizes from Dawsons Music worth over £3,000

  • by Anonymous (not verified)

    Tuesday, 28 April, 2015 - 09:09

We have two fantastic prize bundles of instruments, books, technology, equipment and posters to give away. All you have to do to enter is share your expertise...

The prizes

Dawsons Music are the UK’s longest standing music retailer run by musicians, for musicians. They are helping Youth Music reach even more young people with high-quality music-making projects and we are delighted to be working with them.

They have donated two fantastic prize bundles for us to give away to Youth Music Network members.

Prize bundle A contains a selection of instruments and books. Download the full list of everything in prize bundle A.

Prize bundle B contains a selection of equipment, posters, plus technology and software. Download the full list of everything in prize bundle B.

How to enter

Youth Music is working towards a musically inclusive England. We want to work together with other organisations to break down barriers to music-making, ensuring all children and young people get a chance to take part. Take a look at our guide to Musical Inclusion to learn more.

To enter the draw, all you need to do is provide a top tip, piece of advice or link to a useful article on the web about inclusive music-making. Just post your entry in the comments below.

The competition closes on Thursday 21 May.

(If you post links in your comment, don't worry that they're not clickable: we will edit them so that they are afterwards)

We will pick two winners at random from all the entries: one will receive prize bundle A, and the other will receive prize bundle B. We will contact the winners by email through the Youth Music Network: please don't post your contact details.

At the end of the competition we will collate the responses and turn these into a new resource available to all on the Youth Music Network. If you have any questions, please email

Thanks to Dawsons Music for their generosity.

Photo from East by North East, a project in Gateshead run by GemArts and supported by Youth Music. The project aimed to provide music-making opportunities for young people from BAME, refugee, asylum seeker and wider communities; to use music making to address issues around community cohesion and social integration; and to further develop the skills of local music leaders to meet the demands of culturally diverse communities.

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davep's picture

johnpill's picture

To teach learners about studio design, acoustic treatment, soundproofing, sound reflection etc we have been using Google's Inside Abbey Roads exceptional website.

It is very visual whilst having audio resources making it a very inclusive and interactive tool for learning about recording studios and acoustics.

If you haven't seen this yet it is certainly worth a visit!

Tim Faunce-Brown's picture

Twelfth Night Act 1, scene 1, 1–3.

Tim Faunce-Brown's picture

This is an awesome resource for anyone interested in mixing and production :

M.Ward's picture

nicbriggs's picture

Always draw up partnership agreements at the beginning of a project so everyone knows their responsibilities.
Also, always consult with the young people/community about your project to check they actually would like to be involved in it rather than having it imposed upon them.

cmtyler's picture

I'm currently working with AC Academy to help establish a choir in my school to help raise self-esteem and confidence in my pupils and give them a chance to perform in professional concert hall venues.

laufegge's picture

There is a great new (and free!) app soon available for musician to monitor and evaluate their practice process.
More information can be found on:

Check it out, it's pretty nice! :)

Lauren's picture

We use Figurenotes for a truly inclusive way of making music. It's a form of notation that uses colour and shape, based on matching and a very literal representation of rhythm.

You then go through 3 stages, which lead to conventional notation. This means that people at different stages of reading can all play the same thing, but read from a slightly different representation of the score.

Particularly good for beginners, those with dyslexia, and those with ASD. A really effective and adaptable tool.

And it won Best SEN Resource last year at the Music Teacher Awards for Excellence :)

Paul Guitar's picture

I submit that in playing pop and rock music 'groove' is more important than anything else!
So we start all our youth music sessions with a simple groove on one, two, or three chords.

This sets the tone for everything else. If the groove really cooks we invite solos over the groove and see where that leads.
We introduce dynamics and colour.

Then we play some tunes from the pad and try to retain that groove and 'feel'.

Ayvin Rogers's picture

Lack of confidence is one of the biggest participation barriers. Know where to find your target group, do some leg work and go to where they are; let them check you out on their home turf; perhaps bring some live music/peer/young music leaders with you. When possible, talk one-to-one about their interests and reservations. Show them how your project could fit with their thinking and build confidence to dip their toe in.

Who ever recruits, be on location when they first turn up and welcome them.

Even if the project you had in mind isn't suitable, there may be other things you do or know of that you can signpost them to - as a musician, singer, rapper, technician, spoken word, DJ, VJ, promoter, producer, conductor, sound engineer, publicity illustrator/designer, journalist, blogger, social media, video documenter, rigger, prop and gig decor artist, lighting, management, behind the scenes - whatever - your project or wider programme may have lots of opportunities to get stuck in. The various professionals in your team should be prepared to mentor and let young people shadow them when they are involved with your work.

Jeany Robinson's picture

I thought this piece from Plymouth Music Zone's Anna Batson on working with vulnerable people and looking after yourself as a Music Leader was really valuable and important.
Everyone should read it if they want to know how to keep things in perspective - or how to stay calm and carry on:

TelfordWrekinMusic's picture

Skoog have produced these lesson plans and support resources to support the use of their Skoogs with young people with a variety of additonal needs such as physical and mental needs:-

sarat's picture

Quality music making starts from children being inspired. Use popular music compared to alternative versions, eg use Rockabye Baby Lullaby Renditions of Blur to be able to recreate popular songs with percussion instruments. We had a whale of a time recreating 'Song 2' using classroom percussion such as Boom whackers and slide whistles!

Hannah Dunster's picture

When working with young people in the community, the key thing to remember is that whilst you may be setting things in motion, it is in fact the participants who make the project. It will grow from them, creatively at first and ultimately
logistically too. If you acknowledge this fundamental starting point, you will help to facilitate an empowering music project which can unite a community through sharing, creativity and trust. It is the project participants and the local community who will lead you to exciting and captivating new music and beyond. Check out Soundcastle's Toolkit for Music Projects with Families for some useful creative starting points and advice on running inclusive projects in community settings:

amiejenifer's picture

As teachers and leaders, we can never underestimate the importance of our own well being. If we are not at peace with our mind, body and spirit then how can we ever inspire others to feel the same? There has been a lot of research that has outlined the importance of our own hearts

Perhaps the most intriguing research in neurocardiology today is the relation between and reaction of the sensing heart of one individual on another. Studies at the HeartMath Research Center have detected in individuals up to five feet apart that the heart’s electromagnetism—the largest in the body—can affect and even synchronize with another participant’s brain waves. In short, the brain seems to be innately sensitive and receptive to the heart “energy” of others.

What this demonstrates is that we need to look after our mind, body and soul because how we think and feel affects the people all around us, including the young people we work with. I can not recommend the powerful effects of meditation enough to people:

Young people pick up on all of your emotions so make sure that you are prioritizing your own well being. Ghandi once said that if you want to change the world then you have to change yourself :) This is the best bit of advice I can give to anyone.

Helen Ward's picture

Sometimes your provision will be a young person’s first taste of creative activity outside of school timetables and restrictions. With this in mind, it’s vital that we as music leaders and organisations allow and support the young people to shape the way the activity is delivered, to create their own rules, and to make the delivery space their own.

If we adopt a ‘top-down’ method of skills transfer we run the risk of mirroring the scholastic approach and placing pressure on young musicians to value ‘product’ over a holistic ‘process’. This is especially dangerous when dealing with young people who have or who are at risk of disengaging with the school system.

If we are to be inclusive in our process and our offer we must meet these young people on grounds of mutual respect and expectation. No more music ‘teaching’; let’s embrace ‘learning’ on both sides of the equation through engagement with a social pedagogical approach.