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The Ark T Centre's My Normal Music project ran a pilot year funded by Youth Music in 2017. The project is an intersectional Project working with young people with disabilities (including mental health) and LGBTQ+ young people.  

This year has seen such growth in our Music Project, the young people we have worked with and our staff on the project. Below our Project Manager, Hanah Bruce, shares some of the learning and reflections on the project.

Bristol-based arts organisation OpenUp Music was originally founded in 2007 as the MUSE project, and relaunched under its current name in 2014. With Youth Music’s support, OpenUp has helped to transform accessible music-making for young disabled people nationwide with its groundbreaking ‘Open Orchestras’ programme.

Barry Farrimond, OpenUp’s Chief Executive and Technical Director, spoke to us about how Youth Music has supported the organisation over the years.

The Open School Orchestra (OSO) programme has been well-thought-out, having been developed by OpenUp Music over many years. There are aspects to this which mean it has sustainability and ongoing development built in from the start. Having worked on some inclusion projects where lots of good work happens, but it fizzles out in the setting after the end of the project, it's worth noting and learning from how the OSO format increases the chances for sustainability.

Kingston Music Service audio engineer Zayn Goetzee reflects on lessons learnt in the Symphonize project.

Plymouth Music Zone has invested heavily in Music Leader training despite all the challenges to fund and support it. It's evidence that we can have 'blue sky thinking' to help us keep energised and committed to our work. At the same time, we can 'acknowledge the clouds' i.e. not everything can be brilliant and we are meeting the challenges of working in increasingly complex and challenging settings.  We have an ethos that encourages reflective practice and encourages us to embrace challenges as opportunities to learn. We constantly strive to improve and build on what we have been doing now for 18 years. Here is an overview of how we are currently doing that through our training. We strongly believe this helps people and funders to remain confident about our ability to deliver top-notch stuff! 
  

Details of our Early Years Music Network for the South West 'SoundWaves Extra' 

Reflections from the Cymaz Music Youth Ensemble Project (YEP!) and how we are supporting the development of young people's musical and creative skills.

Please click here to see a wonderful film of the most recent phase of the YEP! project. It features the piece of music created by the group along with evidence of impact. A really inspiring watch and listen!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DBi73XRHze8&feature=youtu.be

 

The Youth Music Funding for The Turning Tides ' Jam Buddies' Project began in September. Last week  we had the first Jam Buddies session .... so what have we been doing for the last five months?

I’ve been working a lot recently on problems; not challenges; problems. Things that need fixing. Take, for example, the fact that there are a great deal of opportunities for young people to make music and realise their musical potential. On the matrix of music (don’t ask me to draw it, please) they range from the super-formal, to the mega-zany and include lots of examples of stuff that is in more than one place on the continuum at the same time (which is why I don’t want to draw it). One very significant problem is that there is next to nothing for musically-inclined young people (yeah, I know they pretty much all are) who have a special educational need and/or are disabled. Sure, there is some stuff. Some organisations do really good stuff. But, on the grand scheme of things, it’s just stuff. If the funding stops, so does the stuff.