On 26 October 2017, 90 CEOs, artistic directors, arts professionals and artists from around the country came together in Norwich for Breaking Down The Barriers – The Arts, Disability and Change

As part of this conference we wanted to galvanise and inspire positive action. So after each panel conversation we asked delegates to share a priority action or change that they had been inspired to make, as a result of what they've heard, said, or thought about during the discussion. 

Will Davey, a new Inclusive Music Practitioner on the Ark T Centre's 'My Normal Music Project', which is in it's first year of running, reflects on his learning, development and practice through this new project funded by Youth Music.

I write this as we are about to embark on our new horizons conference for 2017. An event that we started last year – structured around a series of speakers and conversations on a theme. This year’s title - Breaking Down the Barriers: The Arts, Disability and Change. But we’re not experts or leading the field, like Drake Music or Graeae or a number of other organisations or consortiums who are leading by example, so it begs the question.....How dare we host a conference around disability and the sector, hypocritical or what?!!?
The answer for me is a very simple one – we want to get better.

‘Become A Music Teacher’ are looking for individuals nationwide to give either singing, guitar, drums or piano lessons to students.  If you play and would like to be considered for this role please contact us as below. This is a great chance for you to make good money on either a full time or part time basis, from something which you are passionate about. 

Does Music make a difference to NEET young people?
For NEET young people there are often many barriers to learning and developing, and they are often told that they will never achieve anything in life.  Using music as a tool for our groups helped raise their confidence and motivation and has provided them an opportunity to achieve accreditation.
On Trax funded through Youth Music provided young people with the time, space guidance and venue to practice skills of writing and recording their own styles of music in their own time and at their own pace, using their personal stories and inner most thoughts to produce lyrics.
The project offered a unique opportunity to work alongside professional music producers who shared their skills, knowledge and expertise and stories, and created a platform for young people to develop knowledge about the music industry.
“I didn’t know there were so many jobs available, my writing skills are not that great, but my IT skills are spot on, and I feel I could do something more technical even if it’s behind the scenes, I might look at doing a course at college to help me for my future” (young person’s comment)

Two Rivers High School is a special school in Tamworth for students aged between 11 -- 19. There are currently 180 young people in the school, and many of these have multiple learning needs. These include specific communication and language difficulties, challenging behaviours, Autistic Spectrum Disorder, physical difficulties and medical needs. All students have a statement of special educational needs.
This Project has been encouraging 180 students to engage with music through the delivery of inclusive and accessible large group sessions and the provision of, and support to access, progression and performance opportunities in school and the wider community. This work has developed musical, social and emotional skills of participants. Furthermore this approach has become embedded in the school and best practice shared with other organisations across the SEND Network.
This Blog shows an Emerging Music leader's experience in the setting.

Music video written, produced and filmed by the young people at Beat Routes. 

Some Videos giving the low down from the young people who make music with us!

FAB! is an annual action-packed day for Looked After Children in Lincolnshire ran by soundLINCS, as part of our FundC Fusion programme. 

For the past five years it has combined a presentation ceremony for children and young people from all over Lincolnshire with a huge diversity of music and arts activities based around a chosen theme. There was also a long service Award Ceremony for Foster Carers as well as a Foster Carers Conference giving them the opportunity to learn and liaise with other carers.

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.

Creative Futures has just published a report covering 2 years of Music for Change, its flagship early years programme designed to enhance pre-school children's development, and to narrow the gap in attainment between those from the most and least disadvantaged backgrounds. The programme uses music and story-telling to raise children's key skills, in particular speech, language and communication skills and social and emotional development. The report highlights the project's positive findings, with above expected levels of progression across all assessed areas of children's development, and significnt musical learning too.

Check out this orignal track written and performed by young people who attend our Rugby Youth Music project, Beats, Bars and Banter. They all got together and wrote this track about hate crime and being happy and accepting who your are. :)