The Kingsway Theatre provided opportunites for young musicians to perform to local audiences in Harwich Essex.  In the last five years regular gigs and shows were run along with a live events apprenticeship programme the venue closed in October 2015. 

The Bedlington Brass initiative has received a major boost with sponsorship from Bristol Street Motors Ford Morpeth.

Community Melodies began in October 2015, with a selection of Year 9 and 10 students from three secondary schools in Birmingham. The project aims to educate and empower the students through learning about community music, as well as provide them with opportunities to build skills that can be directly applied in their future working lives. All of the schools have had regular training sessions from passionate community musicians, each with experience in working in healthcare settings, who work with the young people to develop their leadership, presentation and team-working skills. The project concludes with each school visiting the Paediatric Unit of Heartlands Hospital, where the students will lead their own interactive music workshop for the patients.

This project was set up by the Arts Department of the Heart of England NHS Foundation Trust, with the financial assistance of Youth Music and the Eric W Vincent Trust. Community Melodies takes place in the East of Birmingham, a large and impoverished area. The schools involved are Waverley School, Bordesley Green Girls’ School and Hodge Hill College. Community Melodies sessions are run by three groups of facilitators from M&Em Music, Bridge Arts, and MF Community Music CIC.

Find out more at:, or follow the Arts Department of HEFT on Twitter (@heftartsdept)

An approach that's today seen us awarded a share in a contract worth £1 million a year - for two to three years, from Cambridge County Council, to help deliver out of school provision. When combined with contracts we've already secured with the NHS, potentially for five years, we start to establish a stable plurality of funding that's diverse and non grant orientated.

If you're looking to make a life in music but need help with the costs of your musical journey join singer songwriter Kiera Osment now and apply to our 2016 Awards. Whatever instrument you play AYM makes annual grants of up to £2,000.

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. 

A look at where Make Some Noise is now with one of its Music Education Hub partners, the Staffordshire and Stoke-on-Trent Music Education Hub and a collaboration to increase universal access to whole class music making

I feel somewhat vulnerable writing this as what I’m about to explain might make it seem like, before my soon to be explained ‘light bulb’ moment occurred, I was ignorant of what I now so clearly see. But, if the lightbulb has illuminated this new truth to me, then I think that, whilst in the dimness of my ignorance, I was still aware of this thing’s existence, albeit murkily.

It seems that over the last 6 months all I have been doing, whether in conversation, email, or any other form of communication, is try to articulate exactly what it is A New Ambition is and what it aims to achieve. I like to think that, each time I do so, I get a little bit better at it. Lately I have found myself wondering why, in a sector that has an overabundance of skill, knowledge and experience, we seem to keep coming back round to the same old issue of how to explain what a top notch, inclusive music education offer is. Well, I think that we know what it is, we are just crap at explaining it.

Do you have a musical talent but need support, guidance and financial help?

Fundraising target of £30k to enable 60 young singers to participate in 2016 programme.

We're now three years into the National Plan for Music Education. Here's my thoughts on what needs to happen in the next phase.