Youth Music will fund new music-making opportunities for children and young people across England with over £4.5m in grants awarded to 108 music organisations. This brings the total amount of grants given this year to £10.8m.
The £4.5m will be spent by music organisations helping young people with least opportunity to access music provision. These include young people at risk of exclusion, looked-after children, those coping with disability and young people living in urban deprivation or rural isolation.
Over the last year, Youth Music supported over 380 projects benefiting more than 110,000 young people and children – the highest number ever. This brings the total number helped by Youth Music to 2.5 million. Grants support music provision across all musical genres.
Examples of projects awarded Youth Music grants
Over 125 children and young people from Oxfordshire and Buckinghamshire are set to benefit from a £50,000 grant to Garsington Opera for their community opera project Road Rage that aims to support youth development and community cohesion through musical performance. Over six months, the project will bring together young participants from many walks of life to sing, train and perform alongside adults from their own communities, professional opera singers and a professional orchestra. The lasting impact that this project will have on participants, teachers and local schools will be profound, significantly improving the quality and standards of music delivery for children and young people in the region.
Karen Gillingham, Creative Director of Garsington Opera Education and the opera’s Director says:
“Garsington Opera is delighted that Youth Music has supported our community opera, ‘Road Rage’, putting work with young people and the community centre-stage. The opera will reach a huge number of children and young people, giving vocal and dramatic training, as well as an experience that will stay with them for a lifetime. Opera is a wonderfully engaging genre of music and I am thrilled that we can use it to inspire a new generation of young musicians.”
At the other end of the musical spectrum, Soft Touch Arts aims to engage young people in deprived areas of Leicestershire using hip-hop, grime and dance music. The 160 young people between the ages of 11 to 19 benefiting will include some who have a background of offending, young people not in education or employment and looked-after children. Music leaders in the area say feedback from local police suggests that anti-social behaviour was less prevalent during the period previous Youth Music funded projects were underway.
Joe Crofton, Co-Director of Soft Touch Arts said:
“Soft Touch Arts are very excited to start this strand of youth music work. It gives us the opportunity to begin working with some groups of young people that do not usually get the chance to participate in potentially life-changing opportunities like this. The funding will give us the chance to run a series of taster sessions in rural and city locations all over Leicestershire and in Leicester itself, targeting young people from a range of different back grounds. We will then run a regular weekly session at the Soft Touch Studios giving them opportunities to create music and perform at local showcase events and festivals.”
Youth Music found there was significant interest in funding applications for its newly introduced Excellence through Group Singing module and gave grants totalling £595,965 to 13 organisations providing opportunities for young people to explore music through singing in group settings.
Matt Griffiths, Executive Director, Youth Music says:
“At a time when money for music education is being really squeezed, it’s great to see so many local charitable organisations still determined to provide high-quality music learning for local children and young people. We have aimed to ensure that money is directed to where it is most needed, particularly to those young people with least opportunity or facing significant challenges in the current climate.”