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Copy of Copy of Sound Connections Gradeathon

The Sound Connections Gradeathon

Launched January 2021

Online Fundraiser

The Sound Connections Gradeathon is here!

Over the next few months  we are picking up our instruments and playing up a storm in the first ever Sound Connections Gradeathon, all to raise funds for our young artists and Wired4Music!

What is a Gradeathon?

Over the next few months, Sound Connections Trustees Estee Blu, Gemma Knox, Nanret Senok, Sasha Mattock and Sound Connections Director Philip Flood, will learn an instrument from scratch and sit the Rockschool Grade 1 exam in to raise money for our young artists who we work with through Wired4Music.

You can follow their progress over on Twitter @SConnections and support Team Sound Connections via our JustGiving page – any amount would be very gratefully received. Our overall target is £2,000 but there are hopes to exceed this with your help, so please do give what you can! Support here>

Why are we fundraising?

At Sound Connections we believe every child and young person in London should have the opportunity to experience music-making. Since 2002, Sound Connections has worked to strengthen the music sector, bridge gaps in provision and deliver landmark music programmes, but there is still more to do!

Each year, our young people’s programme Wired4Music works with artists to support a wide range of music ideas, from live events to workshops and projects through the Generate programme. Generate offers up to £350 for personal development projects and up to £1750 for larger commissioned based work, bringing together Wired4Music members for collaborative music opportunities. Over the past five years we have invested over £50,000 directly into over 60 projects led by young people, and we’ve plans to work with a lot more. This year we are fundraising to support the next round of Generate.

At Wired4Music, everything we do is led and decided by our members. From music makers and radio producers to techies and budding A&Rs, we place our members at the centre of decision making and co-creating opportunities. We work to to amplify the voices of our young people to challenge the culture of our capital. Our work continues to empower, connect and upskill our members, as evidenced by the Wired4Music 2020 Alumni Survey:

  • 83% said W4M helped improve professional skills such as budgeting, project management, interview skills etc.
  • 85% said W4M helped increase their resilience, confidence and knowledge to lead on their own creative projects
  • 83% said W4M empowered them to pursue creative and musical routes into further education, employment and training
  • 100% said W4M connected them with other young people and get involved in London’s music scene
  • 83% felt able to raise their voice on issues that were important to you and/or speak in public, on panels or at large events
  • 92% felt that Wired4Music has helped them to get to where they are now

“I had never before felt that I had the power or means by which I could have any kind of a say in my own musical training and education. This all changed for me when I joined Wired4Music. It was the first time the first time I was able to have my say and make a difference.”

– Siân Dicker, previous W4M member and Programme Assistant

“Now more than ever we need to protect and nurture our musicians, and provide them with stability, sustainability and safe environments to create in and that support is always here at Wired4Music.”

– Jasmine Kambi, Wired4Music Programme Producer, Previous Wired4Music member

How can you get involved?

Choose your Gradeathon challenger below! Follow their progress and receive regular updates on our Twitter page @SConnections. You can also find out more by going to the Sound Connections Just Giving page.  Any donations, however small, would be greatly appreciated!


Untitled design (5) (1)Team Estee Blu

Electric Guitar, Grade 1

Support Team Estee>







Gemma KnoxTeam Gemma

Keyboard, Grade 1

“As a Trustee for the brilliant charity Sound Connections, which enables and empowers young Londoners through high quality music-making opportunities, I figured it was time to challenge myself to make some low quality music to help raise money. Apologies to my neighbours.”

Support Team Gemma>




Team Nanret

Vocals, Grade 1

“The past year has been filled with uncertainty, but it has also highlighted the power of generosity and how our actions can add up for the benefit of all. I’m incredibly excited to try a new challenge while also raising money for Sound Connections. Donating will help young people, at a time where every action counts.”

Support Team Nanret>



Untitled design (6)

Team Sasha

Singing, Grade 1

“I have alway loved to sing for myself when dancing or cycling or just as a way to express emotion and thought I’d challenge myself to be brave enough to sing in front of someone else. I am doing this challenge as three years ago I experienced the tough job market for young people, taking over one year and 24 interviews to finally find an income. Now it is even harder for young people to find work and employment within the music industry because live performances and gigging just don’t exist right now. I would love to contribute to support more young people to follow their passion and develop their music career and believe that by sponsoring me you will make a positive difference to young people within the music industry.”

Support Team Sasha>



Team Philip

Bass guitar, Grade 1

“I’ve been mucking about on bass guitar for years so this challenge, and the opportunity to raise money for Wired4Music, is a good opportunity to knuckle down and begin to really learn how to play. Very much looking forward to the collective journey with our great group of Trustees.”

Support Team Philip>



Norton York – Sound Connections Chair

“The Generator project is at the heart of Sound Connections‘ work. By sponsoring our Trustees your donations will benefit talented young musicians who are taking their crucial first steps in establishing longlasting careers. We believe that is a vital investment in our cultural future and thank all of you who can support us for making that possible. Thank you for helping us achieve this“

You can find out more about Generate here

You can find out more about the work of Wired4Music in our 10th anniversary booklet here.

With thanks to RSL Awards for their generous support. Happy fundraising and thank you in advance!

Support here>


As a small charity we rely upon donations from generous individuals, trusts and companies to support our work with children and young people across London.

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