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Wired4Music 5th Birthday

Wired4Music’s 5th birthday year is a time to reflect, think big about what’s next, and set ambitious goals.  That’s why we’re taking the first steps towards a national youth music council, which you can find out more about here.  We’re excited that as part of our nationwide commitment to supporting youth voice, we’re working with partners in and beyond London to establish new platforms for young leaders.  Here are the latest partner profiles and highlights from our experiences so far…

Last week, Wired4Music took a trip to the seaside to lay the foundations for a Brighton youth music forum.  The Brighton & Hove Music & Arts service (SoundCity Hub lead) and community music organisation Rhythmix, have invested in a city-wide initiative to learn more about Brighton’s music offer from the perspective of the young people it serves.  Over the next two months, Sound Connections staff and young leaders will begin the process of convening a youth forum by first delivering a series of youth consultations reaching young people in a variety of settings.

A top highlight from our day away was a shared enthusiasm for youth voice as a means to break down the barriers between genres, and provide opportunities for young people from different musical backgrounds to connect and collaborate; something that Wired4Music is passionate about.

Back here in London, we’re working with the English Folk Dance and Song Society as they consider how to integrate young people’s ideas, opinions and leadership into their work.  As a venue-based organisation, they’re looking at how young people can take ownership of the space available to them, and start to shape their musical journeys as folk musicians.  Beginning with a training session for the EFDSS Senior Management Team back in November about ‘Why youth voice?’, we returned last weekend to deliver a youth consultation session with an inspiring group of young people who are all participants in the London Youth Folk Ensemble.  They engaged in the question of “what is youth voice?” with answers including “working together”, “giving young people the opportunity to make choices and decisions” and gathering “the collective opinions of young people about a common issue”.  With these thoughts in the background, they set about applying this to a possible EFDSS takeover day and the roles they can play as young producers.  This is the next in an exciting series of opportunities for young people to produce and programme events, with other examples including the Wigmore Hall Young Producers scheme, and the Hackney Youth Music Forum’s recent event at Chats Palace.  Let us know if you’re planning a takeover or a youth-led event this year, too!

A top highlight from the EFDSS youth consultation was hearing young people express how valued they feel being asked to give input to funding applications.  A simple but powerful way to empower young people in planning and decision-making. 

We look forward to sharing our progress and other partner profiles throughout 2015.  If you’d like support embarking on your own youth voice journey, please get in touch with jennifer@sound-connections.org.uk

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Support our work with London's young music makers. Donate Now