The latest round of Youth Music grants has seen £3.5m awarded to 69 music-making organisations in England. We are very pleased to be able to kick-start a range of new music-making projects including ones for young carers, children living in rural isolation and female victims of trafficking.
Music in hospital settings
London-based charity Key Changes has been awarded a grant of £46,500 to run music workshops on adolescent psychiatric intensive care wards with a national provider of adolescent in-patient psychiatric services.
Specially trained professional musicians and producers will support patients aged 13-18 with song-writing and music production as part of the hospitals' structured therapeutic timetables. The activities are designed to contribute to the young peoples' wellbeing and recovery through developing creative, communication, social and technical skills, improving confidence and self-esteem, and opening new pathways to musical opportunities in the community after discharge from hospital.
Peter Leigh, Key Changes General Manager, says:
"We are thrilled that Youth Music is supporting this project which will provide positive activities for young people detained in hospital at a pivotal time in their lives. The work will build on a pilot service delivered on boys' and girls' wards in Woking which has already seen improvements in patients' engagement with therapeutic activities and brightened the mood of the wards. Expanding the geographic scope of the project will establish a unique perspective on the impact of music in adolescent in-patient care, and develop a valuable evidence base that can be shared with the health and social care sector."
The Musicians in Children's Hospitals project run by OPUS Music Community Interest Company (CIC), has been awarded a grant of £97,800 to bring weekly music-making to the bedsides of children and young people at Derbyshire, Nottingham and Leicester Children's Hospitals as well as children's wards at Kings Mill Hospital, Mansfield.
Previous work by OPUS has demonstrated wide-ranging benefits for the patients, their visitors and staff. Young patients who would otherwise miss out will now gain opportunities for self-expression, autonomy and musical education through regular music-making activity alongside OPUS musicians.
Nick Cutts, Director of OPUS Music CIC, says:
"We are delighted that Youth Music is supporting OPUS' development of our Music in Healthcare practice. We have witnessed the wonderful impacts of music-making in children's hospitals over the past few years, a practice developed through European training partnerships led by the world renowned Musique & Santé in Paris. We are looking forward to the continued exploration of hospitals as collaborative music-making venues, helping children and young people and their families to discover music as a relief from illness and as a long-term activity both during and beyond their hospitalisation."
Research indicates significant benefits
Research has shown that music interventions in hospital settings can have significant benefits. The results of a study by Indiana University School of Nursing published in January 2014 indicated positive outcomes for young cancer patients aged 11-24 who spent three weeks producing a music video. They found that patients were able to cope better with the difficulties presented by their medical condition and improved relationships with family and friends were also indicated.
Youth Music has also awarded grants to support Gloucester Music Makers' research into how young children with cochlear implants experience sound and music. Artsdepot, London has received a grant to support their work with Noah’s Hospice, which has highlighted a lack of music provision for life-limited or life-threatened young people
Regional formula ensures fair distribution of funds
There has been much public debate recently about regional funding allocations for the arts.
Youth Music grants are made available following an application process and are assessed on merit. The charity places a strong emphasis on its role as an intelligent funder, ensuring a fair distribution of funding throughout the regions of England. Over 45% of funded projects take place in the top 20% most deprived local authority areas.
Youth Music applies a regional allocation formula to its grant-making process which aims to provide an equitable balance of funding across the regions. The funding does not merely relate to population densities but takes account of regional deprivation, ensuring that matters such as rural isolation and other geographical issues are taken into account.
Youth Music has also provided additional funding for its strategic ‘Musical Inclusion’ grant-holders, who are charged with identifying areas where there is little activity taking place (‘cold spots’), developing sustainable provision and working with emerging practitioners who are nurtured to deliver future activity.
Matt Griffiths, Youth Music’s Executive Director says:
“We continue to do our best to target our funding where it is most needed. Part of this process is to ensure that we regularly update our information on where music provision is lacking geographically and to identify categories of young people in challenging circumstances who might otherwise miss out. In this round we have announced grants to help female survivors of child trafficking and others who suffer from severe psychiatric illness, along with young people living in rural isolation. We wish all these projects well in delivering high-quality music-making programmes that will have a very positive impact on these young people’s lives.”