Youth organisations

Youth Music

+44 (0)20 7902 1060

9 Tanner Street, London, United Kingdom

Youth Music projects take place in all kinds of places. Youth centres, libraries and prisons. Nurseries, hospitals and housing estates. Sometimes schools (although usually out-of-hours). Often, it’s the fact that they're not school which helps young people to engage.

Several times a year, organisations can apply to us for funding for their music-making projects. Big or small, if they have a great idea for helping young people through music, Youth Music will consider it.

Organisations have to demonstrate the need for their project in their local area. They need to prove they’ve talked to young people to find out what they want. They have to show a fully-costed plan. And most importantly, they need to explain exactly how their project will help change children’s lives.

 

Every year, Youth Music provides more than 100,000 young people with the opportunity to make music, helping them to overcome the challenges they face in their lives.

Their music projects support young people to develop their creative and social skills, make positive contributions to their community and live happy, successful lives.

Youth Music’s ongoing research allows us to identify the best ways to engage young people and drive fresh thinking in music education. We also provide a growing online community for thousands of music education professionals.

Many young people still need Youth Music’s help. Join them on their mission to give every child the chance to make music. 

MUSIC-ED

Urban Development

+44 (0)20 8536 0630

Unit 31, Tileyard Studios, Tileyard Rd, Kings Cross, London N7 9AH, UK

As a music development organisation based in Kings Cross’ Tileyard Studios, Urban Development plays an integral role in the growth of urban music in the UK.

Combining business acumen with an understanding of youth culture, we stand at the crossroads where the creativity of underground new music meets the music industry.

HKYAF Community

Hong Kong Youth Arts Foundation (YAF)

+852 2877 2625

Unit C, 8/F Wah Ha Factory Building, 8 Shipyard Lane, Quarry Bay, Hong Kong

Hong Kong Youth Arts Foundation (YAF) is a charity that provides access to high quality, non-competitive free-of-charge arts experiences for all young people aged 5 to 25.

Established in 1993 by Lindsey McAlister OBE, JP, YAF organises inclusive and inspirational projects that reach out to youngsters of all cultures, backgrounds, languages and abilities, and actively creates opportunities for those who are disadvantaged and underprivileged.

What I hear I forget, what I see I remember, what I do I understand. – Confucius

YAF believes that quality art experiences can enrich the learning process by offering new ways of channelling energy and looking at the world. Amongst the multitude of crucial benefits that arts opportunities create are increased creativity, self-expression and self-esteem, plus problem solving, communication, leadership and teambuilding skills.

MUSIC-ED

National Youth Folk Ensemble

+44 (0)20 7485 2206

2 Regent's Park Road, London NW1 7AY, UK

London

The National Youth Folk Ensemble celebrates excellence in youth folk music, bringing together talented young folk musicians from across England to create and perform inspiring new arrangements of folk music and work with leading folk artists. 

MUSIC-ED

Kinetika Bloco

+44 7795142535

Southbank Centre, Belvedere Road, London, United Kingdom

The Kinetika Bloco is a performance group with an exuberant mix of young brass and woodwind players, drummers, steel pan and dynamic dancers all in costume creating a ‘unique new British Carnival sound with a decidedly London edge’ (BBC Radio2).

We draw our influences from the Caribbean, Brazil, West and Southern Africa, New Orleans jazz, Funk and Hip Hop. Our members create the work with a team of professional tutors and help to lead the organization. Our achievements include: performances at Notting Hill Carnival, Bestival and London Jazz Festival; headlining the Roundhouse; performing for Nelson Mandela who called us ‘enchanting’; representing the UK at Beijing Olympic Festival; leading Team GB in the London 2012 Victory Parade; collaborating with major artists like AfroReggae and Jerry Dammers at high profile venues, including Southbank and Barbican; launching BBC Get Creative; opening the London Marathon; and starring on BBC 1Xtra and BBC Radio 3’s Young Artist Day.

MUSIC-ED

SAMYO (National Youth Orchestra for Indian Music)

+44 (0151) 291-3949

17 Shaw Street, Liverpool, United Kingdom

Samyo is the National Youth Orchestra for Indian Music, and the only one of its kind in the world.

It combines  North and South Indian music traditions with  global influences, and is pioneering a new form of Indian music, while showcasing the next generation of talented young artists.

Samyo is open to musicians between the ages of 12 and 18, Samyo Too to musicians between the ages of 18 and 25, and Sabrang to vocalists between the ages of 14 and 25.

MUSIC-ED

National Youth Jazz Orchestra (NYJO)

+44 20 7494 1733

5 Vigo Street, London, United Kingdom

The National Youth Jazz Orchestra (NYJO) is a charity, whose mission is to promote jazz as an exciting, engaging and inspirational art form through world-class performances and education work. 

NYJO’s flagship band is the UK’s premier youth (under 26) jazz orchestra, performing around 40 concerts annually – nationally and internationally. Alongside these performances, NYJO delivers inspirational education work wherever it goes. NYJO also operates a weekly Academy, which offers London-based access to jazz ensembles for young musicians of varying levels and abilities.

MUSIC-ED

National Youth Orchestra of Great Britain (NYO)

+44(0) 20 7759 1880

Somerset House, Strand, London, United Kingdom

NYO believes in inspiring its teenage members with a sense of personal responsibility for giving world-class performances.

That starts with giving them fantastic role models. Together we’re building the future of orchestral music.

Grand Union Youth Orchestra (GUYO)

+44 (0)20 8981 1551

St Margaret's House, Old Ford Road, London, United Kingdom

London

The unique Grand Union Youth Orchestra (GUYO), London’s pioneering world music and jazz youth ensemble, brings together young musicians aged 12-26 who wish to explore the world’s major musical cultures.

Players of non-Western instruments are particularly welcome.

Led by top professional jazz and world-musicians from the renowned Grand Union Orchestra, GUYO offers free monthly masterclasses and workshops that explore musical styles from all over the world.

The GUYO repertoire, created and rehearsed in over 60 workshop sessions so far, is continually developing and expanding. It includes arrangements of world music ‘standards’, original music, material adapted from Tony Haynes’ music for the Grand Union Orchestra and contributions and compositions by the orchestra members themselves.

Members get to perform in a varied annual programme, from open-air festivals and Summer carnival processions to large-scale participatory shows playing alongside the Grand Union Orchestra. Past performances have taken place in prestigious East London venues such as the Hackney Empire, Wilton’s Music Hall and Stratford Circus.

Sistema England’s mission is to transform the lives of children, young people and their communities through the power of music making, as part of the international El Sistema movement.

Their vision is to give every child in England the opportunity to be part of an orchestra or choir, and strive for musical excellence, developing their full potential, both as an individual and as a force for social good within their families and communities.

Objectives

  • To support the sustainable development of a network of programmes inspired by the values, principles and spirit of the Venezuelan El Sistema programme of social action through music, reaching the most disadvantaged areas across England.
  • To support communication between the Sistema-inspired programmes, encouraging the highest quality teaching, collaboration and the sharing of best practice.
  • To develop a coherent identity for Sistema England and the network of Sistema-inspired programmes, with a clear set of values and standards, reflecting the charity’s founding principles and its guiding spirit.
  • To forge a formal association with El Sistema in Venezuela that will provide opportunities for performance, research, knowledge exchange and collaboration across national boundaries.
  • To advocate for Sistema-inspired work and the creation of new programmes in England by raising awareness of the charity’s aims, demonstrating the programmes achievements, and helping to collate and disseminate hard evidence of the social and musical impact.
  • To help secure funding and provide a coordinated approach to fundraising to support the Sistema-inspired programmes.
  • To work closely and productively with other stakeholders and funders to ensure a co-ordinated approach to messaging, advocacy, and fundraising in support of the programmes aspirations.

OpenUp Music

+44 (0)117 914 0917

8 Melbourne Road, Bristol, United Kingdom

South-West England

Playing music as part of a school or youth orchestra can be a truly life changing experience, encouraging children and young people to develop their talents and to experience teamwork, self-discipline, and individual expression. Unfortunately it is an experience that is closed to most disabled children and young people.

School orchestras are a very rare sight within special schools, there are very few youth ensembles that make provision for young disabled musicians and there is currently no national youth orchestra for those disabled by conventional musical instruments.

OpenUp (formally the MUSE Project) is a Community Interest Company with a simple mission – to open up orchestras and instruments to young disabled musicians. Whether that involves creating a musical instrument you can play with your eyes; providing tuition on an instrument you can control with your feet; or working with a school to help them establish their first school orchestra. OpenUp is there to help young disabled musicians to play a musical instrument, to develop their musicianship, and to experience the joy of performing as part of an orchestra for the very first time.

Music for Youth

+44 (0)20 7759 1830

3rd Floor, South Wing, Somerset House, Strand London, United Kingdom

Music for Youth is a national youth music charity working to provide young people aged 21 and under across the UK with free, life-changing performance and progression opportunities, regardless of background or musical style.

Established in 1970, our mission is simple: we believe that music, and the chance to participate in high-quality musical activities, should be open to every young person.

Music for Youth is about nurturing not only the next generation of musical talent, but the next generation full stop. Whether you’re a virtuoso violinist, or blindingly-skilled beatboxer, a young person who’s never had the chance to experience live music, or the leader of a primary school choir just starting out, we have something for you, or for the young people you work with.

National Children’s Orchestras

+44 (0)19 3441 8855

57 Buckingham Road, Weston-super-Mare, United Kingdom

South-West England

The National Children’s Orchestras of Great Britain (NCO) operate the UK’s premier symphony orchestras for children. We offer children a life-changing experience with training from top professional musicians.

Our performances are renowned for their intensity, vivacity and commitment, but above all their professionalism. The NCO has six national age-banded orchestras, open to children from 7-13 years old. Membership is on an annual basis, with auditions taking place in October each year.

The National Children’s Orchestras of Great Britain provides young people with a world-class foundation for orchestral performance and musicianship. We bring together hundreds of 7-13 year olds from across the country and offer them a life-changing experience – meeting like-minded people and being guided by top professional musicians. As well as creating a safe, stimulating environment in which to explore and enhance their skills and passions, our friendly residential courses also help to broaden the social development of our young musicians.

Established in 1978, the NCO has gone from strength to strength, building up an international reputation as an outstanding orchestra whose maturity belies the age of its members. The NCO has performed in a wide variety of concert venues, from the Royal Albert Hall in London to the Forbidden City Concert Hall in Beijing, and promises audiences an entertaining and uplifting performance.

Passionate about music, our musicians aspire to the highest standards. Welcome to the next generation of world-class music professionals.

Sound Connections

+44 (0)20 7729 7220

Rich Mix, 35-47 Bethnal Green Road, London E1 6LA, United Kingdom

London

Sound Connections develops, enables and empowers individuals and organisations to deliver high-quality music-making with children and young people across London.

We achieve this through three interconnected strands of activity:

  • Music programmes and projects: We are uniquely placed to manage meaningful partnerships and programmes providing music-making activities for 0-24-year-olds across London. In partnership, we provide music-making, mentoring and work experience opportunities to develop young people and improve their opportunities in life. We also bring young people into decision-making, enabling them to engage and contribute more fully to the debate around their provision.
  • Information and training: We provide a wide range of courses, bespoke advice and support to those delivering and managing activity to ensure higher quality music provision for young people. We also offer extensive information on job roles and work within the sector and signpost to a broad range of training and networking provision.
  • Research and development: By using the knowledge and evidence gathered from our activities, training programmes and relationships with over 2,500 members and regional and national decision-makers, we continue to inform and improve the music education sector.