National charity Youth Music has created the Alliance for a Musically Inclusive England to transform music education around the country.
A collective of music organisations have come together to promote diversity and cultural democracy in music education, and support the next generation of musicians.
The alliance will challenge 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 have received funding from Youth Music to deliver a range of activities, working locally to support the progression of young people from all backgrounds – particularly those who wouldn’t normally get the opportunity.
In the North East, funding will be provided to support young people to run their own music projects to create social change.
In the South East, new community-based music spaces will be created for, by, and with young people living in areas of economic deprivation.
In the 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.
And 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.
These 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.
Future activity will also include supporting all Music Education Hubs to develop their music-making practice to become more inclusive.
Matt Griffiths, chief executive 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.’
Songwriter, saxophonist and new Youth Music chair YolanDa Brown recently shared the songs that have shaped her life. Tune in here.