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Awards for Young Musicians

Awards for Young Musicians

Furthering Talent

For over 20 years, AYM have supported talented young people from low income families, helping them to overcome financial and social barriers. Whatever the genre, whatever the style, our strategically-targeted programmes help young musicians from across the UK to grow, flourish, and fulfil their musical potential.
Our four programmes are:

  • Identifying Talent: training teachers in how to spot young people’s musical potential
  • Furthering Talent: targeting and sustaining young people’s emerging talent through strategic support
  • Awards: funding young talent UK wide through annual grants and tailormade help for individual musicians
  • Innovation and Research: leading new thinking and action on talent development

AYM has been committed to promoting musical inclusion throughout its existence as our whole raison d’etre is to support young people in financial need. We’ve initiated of a series of strategic programmes based on addressing key barriers to young people’s progression. With a learning culture at our heart we have consistently evaluated what we do and how we do it, internally and externally, and adapted our work accordingly. Key to our success to date has been ambition; we’ve carefully interrogated how we can use our independent role in the sector to make a difference to the musical lives of the young people AYM was created to help.

We have also communicated with and platformed our work widely, have regularly shared our learning with the sector, whether via our Identifying Talent and Potential resources on the Youth Music Network or Music Mark conferences, MEC working groups or our input with Youth Music into the current Music Commission.

AYM has been awarded a substantial grant via Youth Music’s Fund C funding stream to further develop our Furthering Talent programme from 2018 to 2022:

A new phase of Furthering Talent programme delivery sees continuing development of this work with our existing 5 Hub partners (Brighton & Hove, Greater Manchester, Leicestershire, Nottinghamshire and Staffordshire) whilst expanding the programme through the recruitment of 10 new Hubs over a four year period.

What is Furthering Talent?

Furthering Talent is designed to help musical young people from low income families from the moment the first sparks of potential appear. We support their instrumental learning beyond initial state-funded lessons, so they can keep on playing music well into their teens and beyond. With Youth Music’s help we’ll be expanding the programme from supporting 150 to 450 young people across the UK by 2022.

The key strands of the Furthering Talent programme consist of:

  • Individual weekly instrumental tuition. Funding for two academic years for young people with emerging potential in music who would otherwise have no chance of continuing to play. We aim to support Hubs to continue this provision after the initial two years funding through support in identifying additional streams of funding and creating sustainability.
  • An Individual Learning Plan (ILP). The ILP supports young musicians who are learning an instrument by giving them ownership of what they want to achieve musically. This is done by working together with their music teacher to agree three goals per term. The ILP is designed to look beyond technical ability and discover ways in which the student, teacher, wider Hub partners and families can work together to overcome any potential barriers to music making. It aims to adapt the traditional model of the teacher leading the student in their learning goals by making this more of a partnership, enabling the student to lead on their goal setting, and using wider resources to build a community of support around each learner.
  • A personal progressions bursary of £150 per student per year to help achieve their ILP goals. This could be used for tickets to a gig or a concert, a visit to a recording studio or purchasing music books for example.
  • Get Together events. These are collective opportunities for the young people and their families to come together, share experiences, have musical encounters and enable family members to become more involved in their child’s musical journey.
  • Online mentoring. The new phase of Furthering Talent sees the development of an online service enabling trained AYM Awards Programme Alumni to deliver musical masterclasses to Furthering Talent students, along with mentoring and support.
  • Training for music leaders around identifying and progressing musical potential.
  • Termly Teachers’ Forums in each area for those music teachers working with Furthering Talent students. Teachers are paid to attend, and their input plays a vital part in the development of the programme.
  • Recruitment of a Local Furthering Talent Coordinator to run the programmes locally, supported by AYM’s Programme Manager.
  • Strategic input from Hub leads. Bi-annual Strategy Group meetings give Hub leads and other key partners the opportunity to share good practice, network, feedback and influence the future shape of the programme.
  • External evaluation of the programme from both AYM’s evaluator and Youth Music’s.

These elements aim to deliver really high-quality support for participants, developing an excellent musical progression model.