Youth Music

Youth Music is a UK-wide charity set up in 1999 to provide high quality and diverse music-making opportunities for 0 – 18 years. One of the National Lottery's great success stories, it was set up in 1999, with a remit to support music-making activities for some of the UK’s most disadvantaged young people up to the age of 18, particularly those living in areas of social and economic need. [ Youth Music] has gone on to reach over one million children and young people with its nationwide strategy to support youth music-making, encouraging their talents, building their confidence and transforming the landscape of musical opportunity throughout the UK. The music-making supported spans every genre of music and every kind of musical activity.

The organisation has championed and demonstrated the importance of music-making for children and young people since its inception. Opportunities to get involved in music which were once widely accessible through the formal education sector are now much harder for some children to access. [ Youth Music] plays a crucial role in filling this gap.

[ Youth Music] receives £10m a year lottery funding through Arts Council England. It also has levered in more than £13.7m in partnership from other sources. Youth Music distributes money it receives to develop and implement a UK-wide strategy to support youth-music making that will:

* Establish a legacy of music-making opportunities for children/young people
* Improve overall standards of music-making
* Champion the value of music-making to the lives of young children and young people up to the age of 18 years old
* Establish music-making opportunities for regenerating whole communities

Since December 2000, [ Youth Music] has set up 24 Action Zones in areas of social and economic need across England and Wales. The aim is to provide music-making activities to young people who might not otherwise have the opportunity. The Zones are made up of a consortium of established organisations from the public, voluntary and private sector. They cover all genres of music and deliver a wide range of activities including workshops, rehearsals, performances, one-to-one teaching and mentoring.

[ Youth Music] aims to reach 3 million young people by 2010. The vision is to create a sustainable environment to channel young peoples’ creativity, enabling them to express themselves and develop their skills through music.

More information is available at []

Youth Music also has a website for under 18s at []

Youth Music supports the Music Manifesto



Youth Music Week is an annual week long celebration of Youth Music's work. It takes place during the autumn half-term week and is run in comjunction with the organisation's network of Youth Music Action Zones across England and Wales which host a series of music events, workshops and masterclasses for young people. In 2007 the Youth Music Week launch event will be held at London's National Gallery. The campaign is supported by famous photographer Rankin who shot portraits of famous musicians including Faithless, L'l Chris, Courtney Pine, Hailey Westenra, Beverly Knight, Pull Tiger Tail, Lil Chris and Courtney Pine and Goldie wearing Youth Music's trademark green headphones. []


Youth Music launched the Build A Band cometition in March 2007, beginning the search for talented teenage musicians from across the country to come together and form a band specifically to play at Glastonbury 2007 and write and perform their own 'protest' song. Celebrating the spirit of the Left Field Stage at Glastonbury, famed for its outspoken polemicists, Build a Band is a project designed to encourage young music makers to engage in politics and debate.

Entrants uploaded their demos to the [] during March and April and 13 finalists were selected. They traveled from as far as Northern Ireland, North Wales and Newcastle upon Tyne to a London rehearsal studio to audition for the five places in the final band. The judging panel of music industry professionals, which included Geoff Martin, Director of the Left Field Stage, Glastonbury and Neil Ridley, A&R Manager, Warner Bros. Records – agreed unanimously that all 13 finalists were of outstanding ability.

After much deliberation, the final five talented teenage musicians were named as: Lizzie Massey 14 (guitar/vocals), Tom Ralphs, 18 (guitar/backing vocals), Luke Ryan, 15 (lead guitar), Max Langley, 14 (bass guitar) and TJ, 18 (drums).

The Build A Band winners are collectively called REVOLT, the signed to Militant Entertainment – the record label run by Glastonbury’s Left Field in summer 2007 and will release their first single ‘Call it What You Want’ On October 29, 2007. The track is produced by legendary punk producer Pat Collier, who has worked with top acts including Hundred Reasons and Maximo Park.

[] []


Legendary British fashion designer and ethical campaigner, Katharine Hamnett has designed an exclusive series of organic, limited edition T-shirts featuring the iconic slogan design she has become famous for. The REVOLTING YOUTH T-shirt ssupport Youth Music’s Build A Band initiative at Glastonbury festival this year, which encourages young people to have a political voice via their music-making.

In line with Katharine’s 25 year commitment to ethical trading, the T-shirt is also completely organic; produced under the Global Organic Textile Standard (GOTS).

Famous fashion photographer David Bailey has photographed the T-shirts for the press campaign which features Dirty Pretty Things. Other artists including Get Cape, Wear Cape. Fly and Hard-Fi are also supporting the campaign.

The limited edition, organic 'REVOLTING YOUTH' T-shirts have been featured by media including Vogue, GQ, The Look magazine, The Independent and The Daily Telegraph.



Sing Up is a national government-funded programme of singing activity for primary school-aged children in England to be produced by Youth Music with Abbott Mead Vickers, Faber Music and The Sage Gateshead.

Following a tendering process which attracted more than 80 enquiries, the Department for Children, Schools and Families has chosen a consortium led by Youth Music with The Sage Gateshead, Faber Music and advertising agency Abbott Mead Vickers to manage the Music Manifesto’s National Singing Programme, Sing Up.

The £10 million government investment aims to ensure that good quality singing is central to young children’s lives, in primary schools, in the home and in the wider community.

The original announcement was made by Alan Johnson, the then Secretary of State for Education and Skills, at the Music Manifesto’s State of Play conference in January 2007.

The Sing Up consortium will produce a national programme comprising a national singing resource or “songbook” (led by Faber Music), a media and schools campaign highlighting the benefits of singing (led by Abbott Mead Vickers) and a workforce development programme to build the confidence and expertise of primary school teachers, musicians and parents in leading and supporting children’s singing activities (led by The Sage Gateshead).

The Sing Up programme’s overall aim is to raise the status of singing and increase opportunities for school children throughout the country to enjoy singing as part of their everyday lives. To this end, some funding is being distributed immediately to organisations with a strong track record in singing project delivery to fund 12 new ‘Sing Up Communities’ as well as up to 16 ‘Hearts and Minds’ Sing Up projects around England.

Two of the first tasks for the consortium will be to launch the Sing Up website and produce the termly Sing Up magazine, the first of which will go out at the beginning of November to all 17,000 primary schools in England and stakeholders within the sector. Each issue of the magazine will feature 10 songs, teaching notes, singing news and inspiring examples of good practice from across the country. The Sing Up magazine aims to inspire and enthuse teachers and complement the media campaign and the workforce development components of the national programme.

[] will be launched in early November 2007 and will provide extensive teaching support and information for parents and teachers about the benefits of singing, along with advice on enthusing children to sing well and sing healthily.

Two additional strands of work are already in development from the same fund. The Choir Schools Association is currently expanding its outreach programme and Youth Music is developing a MusicStart pack for 2-4 year olds, fostering confidence and enjoyment in music before the move into primary school. []

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