"When a music leader listens to my opinion, I feel like I'm valued. You feel like you belong there." – Chloe, Creative Academies
Amplifying young voices equalises access to music making, learning and earning. And it doesn’t have to be costly or complicated. Young people are the leaders, changemakers and influencers of the future. Put them centre-stage and you’ll soon see the benefits.
Youth Music has put together a #ShareTheMic resource hub, collating advice and resources from experts in youth voice and participation. The most impactful youth voice work goes beyond a single activity and is done in lots of diverse ways. The #ShareTheMic resource hub has a wealth of information to help music organisations to take the next steps on embedding youth voice in your organisation, whatever your starting point.
What is youth voice and participation?
Youth voice and participation, ‘youth voice’ for short, is when young people influence how an organisation or project is run.
Examples are when young people and children…
- make decisions
- shape sessions
- undertake leadership roles
- give feedback that’s acted upon
Why do it?
There are plenty of benefits that come from youth voice work. It gives young people a sense of agency, helps build skills and equips them to be next generation leaders.
It helps organisations to be more engaging in their offer. It supports the workforce to develop their practice. Plus, it makes you more inclusive and relevant, so puts you in a stronger position to secure funding and partnerships. It’s a fun, inspiring and developmental process.
Youth participation is also a fundamental human right. The UN Convention on the Rights of the Child states:
“Every child has the right to express their views, feelings and wishes in all matters affecting them, and to have their views considered and taken seriously.”
Our youth voice commitments
All projects supported by Youth Music’s Trailblazer and Catalyser funds put children and young people’s voices centre-stage, involving them in the co-design of projects. And our funded partners look for ways to involve young people in all stages of projects, from planning to delivery to evaluation.
Join our journey to better youth voice by following these five commitments:
- Create - Be innovative about how we #ShareThe Mic. Make the process fun!
- Collaborate - It’s not about giving up control, it’s about sharing power.
- Care - Always act on what we hear and learn.
- Communicate - Share how we’ve acted on what we’ve heard.
- Champion - Give all ages and abilities a platform to get involved.
"Organisations have the key to unlock the power and the resources to bring out the best in young people." – Aicha, Positive Youth Foundation
The future sounds better with young voices. So let’s #ShareTheMic.
Image from The Avenues Youth Project