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Using funding from Youth Music, we have been able to work with Music Therapy Bedfordshire to provide music therapy for a number of highly vulnerable young people, alongside valuable support and training. This is a case study on the impact for one of our pupils.

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.

A powerful testimony that national education policy makers should hear.

This coming weekend MORE MUSIC is producing a 24 hour Music Party @ LMF2017 with the aim of raising funds for our Homeless Action music programme in Lancaster.
People taking part in the music sessions describe how singing, in particular, has lifted their spirits  "the only reason I walk the planet” and restored their self-belief  "singing has really helped my confidence”
 
They also say it makes a significant contribution to their recovery from addiction  " helps me deal with the bad stuff that happens” and has helped them refocus and rebuild their lives, securing and maintaining a home and returning to paid employment.

A perfect storm is rapidly approaching in music education in England. Read on to see how you can help and gain support.

Earlier this year we were excited to award Wired4Music member Jacob Roberts-Mensah a place on our Generate programme, with a bursary and mentoring support to run his own music project.

Fifty thousand pounds has been awarded to Noise Solution to significantly enhance and evolve its impact capture analysis and use of digital storytelling, placing the organisation at the forefront of impact capture in our sector, UK and indeed worldwide. 

Fundraising for arts activities is a highly competitive process that can be very time-consuming with disappointing results. Written by Sound Connections Chair Katrina Duncan, this guide is intended to help you think before you take the plunge, to consider how to prepare for making your pitch for support and do all you can to ensure that your bid is the best it can be.

In light of Youth Music's refreshed definition for Coldspots projects, I delved into the evaluation data we've received from Coldspots projects since 2014. I wanted to see what they could tell us about improvements in the confidence of participants of our funded projects, and noticed that there were many more instances reported of girls and young women showing improvements in confidence than boys and young men. I picked out some key points that emerged from my research to explore this further.

A project that looks to bring together Downs Syndrome support groups through musical collaboration; training and mentoring for young female musicians; music technology with children and young people in challenging circumstances; and music and play in palliative care, all make up Sound Connections Innovate programme 2017.

'Ready for music' - music therapy for vulnerable children was a Youth Music funded project which ran at Broadwaters Children Centre, The Ladder Children Centre (before closure) and South Haringey nursery. The project ran from January 2016 - January 2017 and was led by music therapist, Claire Hope (www.hopemusictherapy.co.uk). The majority of similar early years music therapy work occurring in the UK is funded by both the children's centres and The Primary Care Trust. In Haringey, however, there is limited NHS funding towards therapeutic intervention in early years and a high level of deprivation.
Weekly group and individual music therapy sessions were offered to vulnerable families, children with complex emotional, social and developmental needs and parents and infants on the 2 -year programme (a government childcare initiative offered to parents on low-income). It was agreed that the project would be flexible, allowing Claire to respond to the needs of the service users. Workshops, presentations and meetings with parents were also an important aspect of the project. 
Group sessions involved familiar songs/nursery rhymes, turn-taking, leading, conducting, musical arrangements (playing an instrument in a particular place in the music), improvising/free play, movement with music, imaginary play, stories with sounds, songs and puppets. These were closely monitored by recordings, written summaries, supervision and questionnaires. Staff commented ,and the music therapist observed, children's increase in confidence, listening, awareness of the musical interaction and an increase in using more words in songs and play, particularly for children with English as a second language.
One little boy, who was selective mute, tentatively began to use his voice to express himself in individual music therapy sessions. Through creative musical play (and the use of kazoos!), his confidence in using his voice to communicate developed and he began to talk in nursery. Due to the flexibility of the project, he was then able to join a music therapy group with his peers, further consolidating on his confidence and achievements.
Music therapy is vital in these contexts, where young children are seeking and needing early play experiences. There continues to be growing need and demand for music therapy and Broadwaters Children Centre is thrilled to receive successful funding for a further 2-year music project beginning imminently, entitled: HOPE music therapy. Music therapy for vulnerable children.'