This research report explores the benefits and challenges of facilitating secure and meaningful musical progression routes for children and young people from refugee, asylum-seeking and new migrant families.
Commissioned by Sound Connections, the report is centred around the work of Fairbeats!, a London-based music project working with Action for Refugees in Lewisham (AFRIL) and Refugee Action Kingston (RAK), and funded by Youth Music.
Fairbeats! seeks to build musical skills and instil a culture of music-making within children and young people from refugee, asylum seeking and new migrant families. One of the projectʼs key aims is to provide participants with the skills, confidence and support to take up musical opportunities beyond the organisation itself, and so far Fairbeats! participants have attended a wide variety of programmes, projects and activities, including with Animate Orchestra (Trinity Laban), the Horniman Museum and Gardens, Lewisham Music Hub holiday courses and The Midi Music Company.
While the musical and social benefits of taking up such opportunities have been celebrated by participants, by their families and by the organisations involved, securing new musical pathways have not always proved straightforward and have taken time and effort to establish and finesse. This report unpicks the value and complexity of ensuring positive and lasting musical progression experiences for young people in such challenging circumstances, with a view to providing a model for other organisations keen to establish similar routes.