When drummer Femi Koleoso accepted the Mercury Prize on behalf of Ezra Collective in September, he spoke powerful words about the importance of grassroots youth music organisations in the UK.
“This moment that we’re celebrating right here is testimony to good, special people putting time and effort into [helping] young people to play music. Right now, this is not just a result for Ezra Collective – this is not just a result for UK jazz – but this is a special moment for every single organisation across the country ploughing their efforts and time into young people playing music.”
Our Future Sound programme is one vital way in which 11-18 year olds from minoritised backgrounds can get an equal chance of top quality and transformational music education. It’s something that many students wouldn’t otherwise be able to access, because of barriers like money, family circumstances or background.
Future Sound means we go into schools and work directly with these students, to help them realise their creative potential. By learning from relatable, professional emerging jazz musician workshop leaders, young people improve their musical ability, creativity and confidence. They get a glimpse of how a career in music could be achievable for them, from these role models. Plus they build ‘soft’ skills like communication, teamwork and resilience, that are super valuable in being more ready for life and work in the coming years.
We believe that access to music education should be an intrinsic part of growing up for every child wherever they are in the UK and no matter what their background. But right now that’s simply not the case. Resources and opportunities are being squeezed to their limit from every direction:
- UK Music found that only 15% of children at state schools receive sustained music tuition, compared to 50% at fee-paying schools, which has an impact on the UK talent pipeline.
- A recent Independent Society of Musicians survey found that there’s been a dramatic drop (36%) in music GCSE entries since 2010, when the English Baccalaureate (EBacc) was introduced.
- The Musicians’ Union has expressed concern about Government plans to more than halve the number of music hubs by September 2024. Music hubs are partnerships that are responsible for enabling and delivering access to music education for young people within a local area.
We want to bring Future Sound to more young people in Manchester in 2024, having run projects in the city since 2022, and in London since 2018.
As a small, grassroots charity we rely heavily on public donations to keep our programmes going.
That’s why we need your support for our Big Give Christmas fundraiser this month, starting at 12 noon on Tuesday 28 November.
For one week only, every single pound that you give will be doubled, at no extra cost to you!
Whilst times are tight for everyone, if you can donate, even a small amount will make a big difference.
Please save this link to donate between 12 noon on Tuesday 28 November – 5 December 2023.
Thank you for your support!
NME, Mercury Prize acceptance speech: https://www.nme.com/news/music/read-ezra-collectives-full-mercury-prize-2023-speech-3495213
UK Music survey: https://www.ukmusic.org/policy-campaigns/music-education/