Two girls with saxophones talking and writing a song together

Make twice the difference for young musicians 

We know that there’s a wealth of evidence (1) showing how music can be transformative for wellbeing. Yet many schools simply don’t have the resources and freedom they need to foster positive mental health and nurture creativity in our teenagers, especially those from minoritised backgrounds. 

Yet we read in the news and hear from our own experiences how the UK faces a child mental health crisis. In fact, 1 in 6 under 16s are experiencing a mental health issue (2), a figure that has deteriorated over the last six years and not improved since the pandemic. 

Many young people from minoritised groups don’t get the same opportunities as their more privileged peers to reach their potential in music. This means missing out on the wellbeing benefits, life skills, confidence and aspirations that are so crucial and more readily available for their more well-connected peers. This is why our Future Sound music education programme provides targeted support and inspiration for 11-18 year olds. 

So, please save the date Tuesday 6 June as we launch our Champions for Children match funded campaign. It will run for one week only and every £1 you give becomes £2 at no extra cost to you!  Everything we raise during those seven days goes towards helping young people on our Future Sound music education programme.  

To give you a flavour of Future Sound ahead of the campaign, we’re super excited to share our latest video, filmed earlier this school year in Hackney, London.  You can watch it here:

Adam Saunders, AW Music Education Advisor says: 

“If I had to describe the Future Sound project to someone who didn’t know anything about it, I’d say it’s one of the most real life music education projects. There’s no other projects that exist like this, where you take a whole band and you put them in with a small group of students, they get to learn to perform with them, they get to write with them. And there aren’t really any other projects that exist like it.”

One of the student participants said: 

“I felt a lot more confident actually, I felt like I wanted to share my own ideas. I felt like I wanted to, you know, be part of a group, not be always the silent one.”

Miryam Solomon, one of the workshop leaders on the Hackney programme added: 

“Over this period, it’s been really nice to see their leadership skills develop. And seeing them being able to take ownership of ideas and sharing and teaching each other and taking up a bit more space. That’s been nice to see people sort of step into roles and express their ideas.”

So, whilst times are tight at the moment, if you are able to donate, don’t forget to bookmark this page. Then please donate from 12 noon on Tuesday 6 June!

Further reading

1 – Resources on music and mental health:

Can music improve our health and quality of life?

Music education benefits youth wellbeing

Mental health and the power of heavy music

Sounds soothing: 6 benefits of music for your mental health and wellbeing

Music can be a great mood booster

2 – References on young people, schools and mental health:

Mental Health of Children and Young People in England 2022 – wave 3 follow up to the 2017 survey

Mental health: how schools are dealing with the ‘new normal’

School staff witness an increase in pupil anxiety, low self-esteem and depression

Young Minds: mental health statistics