Date: 1ST August, 2014
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Youth Music streamlines its investment programme and promotes greater diversity within Music Education Hubs
Charity promotes vision of musically inclusive England with introduction of new small grants and raising of upper age limit
The National Foundation for Youth Music announced today that it has streamlined its grants programme in line with its vision of a musically inclusive England. The charity currently supports almost 400 music projects around the country, representing an investment of over £20m.
The refreshed programme aims to strengthen partnership working between organisations within Music Education Hubs to promote diversity and ensure the best outcomes for the young people they serve, particularly those in challenging circumstances. The charity believes this renewed emphasis will achieve greater musical inclusion across the music education sector in line with the aspirations set out in the National Plan for Music Education.
Towards a musically inclusive England
Although the government’s recent announcement of an additional £18m investment in music education has been welcomed across the sector, disparities in access and inclusion remain. The number of pupils accessing subsidised music education is now running at six percentage points less than the 18% of the total pupil population receiving free school meals. Free school meal status is widely used as the criteria for receiving a subsidy, which suggests that many who can least afford it are still not receiving a music education.
Youth Music’s refreshed grants programme aims to tackle these disparities with investment targeted at children in challenging circumstances who would otherwise miss out. Many of the young people Youth Music supports face significant challenges in their lives that might otherwise limit their participation in music-making. These include disability, poverty, rural isolation or being at risk of exclusion.
The charity’s approach to creating greater inclusion, by investing in projects that use a true diversity of learning styles and approaches across a broad range of contemporary and traditional music genres, has already proved to be highly successful in attracting children and young people from all backgrounds. For many of these participants the experience has been a catalyst to kick-start their individual life journey towards a more positive outcome of personal and vocational musical fulfilment.
Matt Griffiths, Youth Music’s Executive Director said: “The recent announcement of additional funds for music education is fantastic news, but Youth Music projects often focus on those organisations, musicians, and young people hidden from mainstream services and provision. It’s essential that their voices, and indeed, their music are considered as part of the musical fabric of this country. Our updated programme makes funding these projects simpler and should create even greater diversity and inclusivity amongst hubs.”
Expanding music-making opportunities
Youth Music aims to expand music-making opportunities by raising the qualifying upper age limit for Youth Music investment to 25 years, in recognition of the challenges faced by young people in their transition to adulthood, particularly at a time of significant youth unemployment.
In addition, a wider range of organisations may now be supported with a new award of between £2,000 and £30,000 available for smaller organisations or projects.
Matt Griffiths, Executive Director, Youth Music continued: “Since 1999, Youth Music has played a big part in bringing music education to those who might otherwise have lost out. We use the knowledge and expertise we’ve gained since to identify areas of greatest need around the country, with over 45% of our projects taking place in the 20% most deprived local authority areas in the country. Our refreshed grants programme will help us sharpen our focus on providing for children in challenging circumstances in the areas that need it most.”
In response to feedback from stakeholders, the charity has also now simplified its grant application process while maintaining its outcomes and evidence-based approach. All Youth Music funded organisations will now be expected to use Youth Music’s Quality Framework, to ensure high standards across all its funded work and to support young people’s progression in and through music, in keeping with the charity’s vision for a musically inclusive England.
Matt Griffiths added: “Feedback from our stakeholders is vital to inform our thinking and helps us reflect on and evaluate our own performance. We want to make the application procedures as simple as possible, while maintaining the robust, evidence and outcomes based approach. This in turn encourages reflective thinking from the projects we invest in, with a clear eye from the outset on what they seek to achieve as a result of our investment.”
Youth Music will begin accepting applications for its next funding round in Autumn 2014. For more information and details of application deadlines visit http://network.youthmusic.org.uk/Funding
ABOUT YOUTH MUSIC
• Youth Music believes that music-making is life-changing and the charity wants the opportunity for music-making to be available to all children. Every year, Youth Music provides more than 90,000 young people with the chance to take part in a local music project.
• Many of these children and young people face challenges in their lives including coping with disability, poverty, rural isolation or being at risk of exclusion.
• In addition to developing musical skills, Youth Music projects help young people to develop their creative and social skills, make positive contributions to their community and live happy, successful lives. Youth Music projects work across all music genres.
• Youth Music currently supports over almost 400 music projects around the country.
• The charity knows that many more young people still need its help and continues to fundraise to realise its mission to ensure that all children and young people have access to life-changing music-making opportunities.
• Find out more about the work of Youth Music by visiting www.youthmusic.org.uk
For enquiries about Youth Music please contact:
Media and PR Consultant,
M: 07977 067576.
Media and PR Consultant
National Foundation for Youth Music
M :07977 067576
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