Band called SEED and students playing a gig at Church of Sound

Future Sound

Our award-winning, flagship music education programme is for young people from 11 to 18.

Future Sound is an aspirational and inspirational music learning programme that pairs young people with professional musicians along with a jazz promoter. We inspire them to develop their musical and composition skills through school workshops, and experiences including live performance and recording sessions in a professional studio.

In the 2022-23 academic year we were thrilled to roll out the programme in Manchester for the very first time, led by saxophonist Emma Johnson. Read more about Emma, and why leading a programme in the North is close to her heart, in our blog about the project.

Past projects have been led by Sheila Maurice-Grey and Kokoroko; Cassie Kinoshi and SEED; Jas Kayser and Chums; Jonny Enser, Matt Davies and Plumm with performances at award-winning jazz venue Church of Sound in Hackney and The Yard in Manchester.

what IS IT?

Future Sound workshops focus on skills that students simply aren’t offered as part of their in-school music curriculum.

They include the following:

  • Composition and songwriting
  • Playing your instrument as part of a band
  • Performance skills
  • Recording music
  • Building a career in the music industry.

The 30+ hours of music workshops are for 20 students aged 11 to 18 who have shown musical talent and potential but might not otherwise have had an opportunity to engage with the arts outside of school. It’s also an opportunity to work with musicians who are part of the thriving UK music scene.

The students get to experience what it’s like to be a musician and develop compositions that are inspired by their own influences. They are also offered experiences such as performing in a professional space that’s local to them (but which they might not know about) and/or recording their compositions in a professional studio. 

As part of the project the visiting musicians will prepare a special performance for the wider student community.

You can watch the film of our FUTURE SOUND, MANCHESTER 2023 programme here:

You can watch the film of our FUTURE SOUND, London 2022-23 programme here:

You can watch the film of our FUTURE SOUND, MANCHESTER 2022 programme here:

You can watch the film of our FUTURE SOUND, LONDON 2022 programme here:

You can watch the film of our FUTURE SOUND, LONDON 2021 programme here:

You can watch the film of our FUTURE SOUND, LONDON 2020 programme here:

You can watch the film of our FUTURE SOUND, LONDON 2018 programme here:

when IS IT?

A school term of your choice.

Where IS IT?

The Future Sound London programme has been based at Mossbourne Community Academy in Hackney, and delivered in partnership with nearby venue Church of Sound and recording studios Premises Studios and Strongroom Studios. The Manchester programme has been in partnership with Co-op Academies with performances at The Yard.

We are keen to expand to work with schools and community groups across all parts of the UK.

What people are saying

“The biggest impact for us has been their ability to communicate with each other…this is something that has definitely improved through the Abram Wilson project. At the very beginning they often spoke over each other and often didn’t listen to each other. Now I’m noticing they actually communicate really well with each other, they are taking on each other’s ideas and listening to each other’s thoughts and taking it on board, trying it out in the music and giving it a go in the piece.“
Matthew Asher, Head of Music and Performing Arts, Co-op Academy North Manchester

“We can come in and show that the possibilities are endless if they really put their mind to it, whatever they do. A lot of these guys have so much potential to be amazing musicians. As workshop leaders we were very relatable – we met them on their level. The students respected us, professional musicians who can walk the walk. There was a very supportive communal vibe, particularly with the final performance.”

Sheila Maurice Grey, bandleader Kokoroko and Future Sound workshop leader

“It’s a way to embrace who you are and it’s really fun.”

Future Sound participant

“Music is really important because it’s not like other subjects, you get to be more active, and you also get to explore your emotions through the music that you play.”

Future Sound participant

“They can walk away from this (project) feeling like ‘even though I’m not where I wanna be right now in relation to my instrument, or my life, there are people out there doing it, so why can’t I?”

Yohan Kebede, Future Sound workshop leader and member of Kokoroko

You can read more about the programme impact here.

We’d love to work with your school or community group wherever you are in the UK, and connect you with musicians and venues.