A new generation of young musicians has been given a huge boost thanks to a major grant.
Over the next four years, the musinc project will receive more than £630,000 in funding from a national alliance led by Youth Music
The Alliance – led by national charity Youth Music – is a collective of leading music organisations working together to promote diversity and cultural democracy in music education.
It aims to transform music education in England by challenging policymakers, education providers and arts organisations to ensure that all children and young people can access music-making which is suitable for their needs and relevant to their interests.
This means diversifying the genres of music on offer, giving young people ownership of their musical learning, removing the structural barriers which prevent participation, and forming strong links locally, nationally and with the music industry to support future generations of musicians.
The 13 partners in the Alliance for a Musically Inclusive England have received funding from Youth Music, a national charity investing in music-making projects for children and young people experiencing challenging circumstances.
Youth Music invests in more than 350 projects each year, with around 75,000 children and young people taking part in music-making activities.
The projects mostly take place outside school, and they help participants to develop personal and social skills as well as musical ones.
Alliance members will deliver a variety of innovative activities, working locally to support the progression of young people from all backgrounds – particularly those who wouldn’t normally get the opportunity. Workforce development will help music educators from all backgrounds and at all career stages with training, networking, accreditation and peer support.
In Middlesbrough, Stockton, Hartlepool and Redcar & Cleveland, the musinc project will be delivering a comprehensive programme designed to put music at the centre of young people’s lives, and to put young people at the centre of music making.
Led by Middlesbrough Council, musinc enables young people to develop themselves and their music, bringing about positive change in their lives and the lives of those around them, and helping them to make a successful transition to adult life.
musinc Development Officer Gwyneth Lamb said: “Music is a powerful force for good, bringing people of all ages together and helping them to find new and exciting ways to express themselves.
“This grant from Youth Music is fantastic news, and will help to secure musinc’s future for the next four years and beyond, enabling it to reach more young people than ever before.
“The match funding we’ve had from the Tees Valley Combined Authority and Tees Valley Music Service has been invaluable – we simply couldn’t have got this grant without their support.”
Councillor Mick Thompson, Middlesbrough Council’s Executive Member for Culture and Communities, said: “Over the last six years musinc has helped hundreds of young people grow and develop thanks to their involvement in life-changing music-making projects.
“The initiative is also key to our approach for the bid for Tees Valley City of Culture 2025 which puts local people at the heart of creative decision making.”
Darren Henley, Chief Executive of Arts Council England, said: “The potential for creativity is everywhere and every child should have the opportunity to participate, progress and build a career in the arts.
“Thanks to National Lottery players, the lives of young musicians across England are being transformed through this major Arts Council investment in Youth Music.
“High quality music education has the capacity to change lives, especially for those children from tougher socio-economic backgrounds. We want to see them getting the same opportunities as those from more affluent families. It’s one of the many reasons that this work is so very important.”
Matt Griffiths, CEO of Youth Music, said: “This investment from Arts Council England and the National Lottery is vital in helping us to effect change nationwide.
“It means that we can continue to support projects to offer music-making in all its diversity of genres and on instruments that reflect young people’s interests and needs.
“We will continue to work in partnership to break down the barriers young people face, to support their progression whichever routes they choose, and to advocate for a new, inclusive model of music education.”
Each project is united in a common purpose to get more inclusive music-making taking place across the country by forming partnerships with local organisations and providing advice, championing the benefits of inclusive practice, and delivering activities for and with children and young people in their local area.