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If you are working with people age 0-25 in London through music then you can apply for support and investment of up to £2,000 to explore new ideas and approaches to working with children and young people. Providing funding, project mentoring and support, Innovate is particularly aimed at individuals and grassroots organisations with an annual turnover of less than £100k looking to launch or incubate a project idea and develop fundraising skills.

Grants of up to £2,000 plus mentoring are available to individuals and organisations with an annual turnover of less than £100k for projects and ideas that will:

  • Test a new idea or innovative way of working for you or your organisation.
  • Provide a new or innovative activity for young people who would not normally have access to such activity
  • Provide a creative experience that focuses on the wellbeing of participants and practitioners
  • Offer an honest appraisal of the processes that you, your organization and the children/young people have experienced – through creating new learning and models of best practice which can be shared across the music sector and beyond

We are particularly interested to receive applications that:

  • Provide post-Pandemic support, and that use a combination of digital and face-to-face hybrid activities
  • Prioritise participant mental health and wellbeing
  • Have inclusion and social justice at the heart of the project;
  • Work in consultation and collaboration with people age 25 and under – ie people under the age of 25 are involved in making decisions about the project from the start;
  • Consider accessibility from the start by using the principles of the social model of disability;
  • Focus on Early Years, ie working with babies and very young children age 0-5;
  • Take a multi-agency approach, ie working in partnership with non-music partners such as youth centres, Pupil Referral Units, community groups, nurseries etc.

Successful candidates work in close partnership with Sound Connections to develop and deliver the project. Every project and organisation’s needs are different, so the Innovate Programme can be used to find the most appropriate support for you.

Over the last few years, Innovate has supported:

  • A song-writing project working with young people who are at risk of or have been a victim of serious youth violence
  • The piloting of an LGBTQ+ choir with an emphasis on reaching LGBTQ+ refugees and asylum seekers
  • Youth-led programme to test collaborative performance events with young refugees and asylum seekers
  • Development of a programme for young children with SEND and their siblings, alongside a CPD programme for early years practitioners
  • A youth-led research programme investigating the roots, social significance and educational capacity of drill music;
  • A community choir of boys and young men, particularly targeted at those in transition from primary-secondary school;
  • A project bringing samba drumming into community spaces which cater to the needs of young people with a migration background;


Applications for the 2021-2022 Innovate programme are now closed.


We are grateful to the National Foundation for Youth Music for supporting this work.

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