National charity Youth Music has announced the formation of the Alliance for a Musically Inclusive England, a collective of leading music organisations working together to promote diversity and cultural democracy in music education.
The Alliance 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 Alliance members, funded by grants from Youth Music through money received from the UK National Lottery via Arts Council England, will deliver a variety of innovative activities, working locally to support the progression of young people from all backgrounds over four years from April 2018.
- North East of England: funding will be provided to support young people to run their own music projects to create social change.
- South East: new community-based music spaces will be created for, by, and with young people living in areas of economic deprivation.
- North West: young people from all backgrounds will learn from professionals working in a diversity of styles including rap and electronic music – genres which are often neglected in mainstream music education.
- Five alliance partners will work together on a national initiative supporting disabled young musicians to directly shape the music industry around their needs, with support from music industry and higher education partners.
All programmes will be underpinned by a strong workforce development element, designed to ensure that the music-making activities on offer for children and young people are of the highest quality. This will help music educators from all backgrounds and at all career stages with training, networking, accreditation and peer support.
Advocating and supporting inclusive practice
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.
Future activity will also include supporting all Music Education Hubs to develop their music-making practice to become more inclusive.
Matt Griffiths, CEO of Youth Music, said:
‘Inclusion is central to everything we do. The Alliance will work with the wider music education sector, extending the reach of musically inclusive practice and driving change. We have a strong evidence base which demonstrates the wide ranging social benefits of music, and we want that to be at the heart of music education practice. We hope that, with our influence, music education of the future will look very different.’
Hannah Fouracre, Director of Music Education, Arts Council England, said:
‘The potential for creativity is everywhere and every young person should have the opportunity to participate and progress in the arts. We welcome the launch of the Alliance for a Musically Inclusive England which will help ensure that all young people are able to make the music they want to make.’
Header photo: Young performers at a Brighter Sound project in Manchester © Youth Music
The 13 organisations in the Alliance for a Musically Inclusive England are funded through Youth Music’s Fund C grants programme.
Awards for Young Musicians
Brighton Dome and Festival Ltd
Bristol Music Trust
Hertfordshire Music Service (MusicNet East)
musinc (led by Middlesbrough Council)