Music For Youth

Music for Youth logo
Youthful Jazz Ensemble in full flowMusic for Youth is an educational charity with a worldwide reputation for its work in music education. It provides free access to educational and performance opportunities for all kinds of groups of young musicians and audiences through a nationwide series of festivals and concerts.

100,000 young music makers and audience take part in our festivals and concerts every year Two million children, aged from four to twenty-one, have taken part in Music for Youth since 1971.

The Music for Youth year comprises four major events: the Regional Festival Series, the National Festival and the Schools Proms.

Martyn worked as a stage manager at Music for Youth events for several years during his time at University. He was a popular figure with the team running the National Festival of Music for Youth at London’s South Bank Centre and the Schools’ Proms at the Royal Albert Hall and enjoyed entertaining the troops with some impromptu piano-playing!

National Festival

MDMT sponsors awards at the National Festival of Music for Youth, held annually in Birmingham, in the Jazz (Schools) and Senior Choirs categories. Recipients of the awards are listed below:

July 04  Choir  Ysgol Glanaethwy
Band  St Aidan’s Swing BandJazz winners

July 05  Choir  St Aidan’s Chamber Choir
Band  Northampton School for Boys

July 06  Choir  St Aidan’s Chamber Choir
Band  Mr Parson’s Project

July 07  Choir  Northampton School for Boys
Band  St Aidan’s Swing Band

July 08  Choir  Farnham Youth Choir
Band  Norton’s Dixie Kings

July 09  Choir  Côr Ieuenctid Môn, Anglesey
Band  Swing Foundation WakefieldJazz winners 2009 Swing Foundation Wakefield

MDMT is working with Cheltenham Jazz Festival and Music for Youth to provide a one-off performance opportunity for the recipient of the award in the Jazz (Schools) category.  A performance slot has been reserved at the Fringe Festival of this world-renowned jazz event, which takes place annually in May.  Norton’s Dixie Kings were the first band to perform at Cheltenham in May 2009.  MDMT thanks Sophie Winstanley and the organisers of the Cheltenham Jazz Festival for initiating this fantastic opportunity for a young jazz ensemble.

Infant Music for Youth performers

Regional festivals

Music for Youth holds Regional Festivals across the UK in Feb and March every year. School and youth music groups of any genre, standard and ability are able to perform at these events and there is no audition process. The young people taking part benefit from the experience of performing in public in the development of their self-confidence, discipline and communication skills. They can also enjoy watching their contemporaries perform and learning from each other.

MDMT sponsors the Regional Festival taking place in Birmingham, at the Adrian Boult Hall, Birmingham Conservatoire. Around 20 varied groups perform at this event, all of whom receive a verbal adjudication and certificate to take away.

Primary Proms

MDMT supports the annual series of Music for Youth Primary Proms.  These free concerts target inner-city children and are aimed at enhancing their creative and spiritual development through music. The concerts, performed by young musicians, are staged in major concert venues and provide a unique opportunity to experience live music of all kinds, from boy bands to orchestras. For the majority of the 4 to 11 year-olds the Primary Proms represent their first encounter with live instrumental and vocal music making.  Every year over 30,000 requests are received for the 14,700 free tickets available.

Here are some comments from the staff of Birmingham Conservatoire’s Concert Office, who were fortunate enough to attend a recent Primary Proms at Symphony Hall.

It was lovely to see so many kids enjoying performances given by other children. They seemed to really appreciate how much hard work and energy had gone into the concert and whole groups (along with their teachers!) could be seen swaying and joining in with a great rendition of Mustang Sally!! If only every Monday could start like this! Kelly Williams

Such a well-organised event (as usual). All the performances were amazing, so entertaining. It was good watching the kids’ faces as they recognised the tunes. Abraham Darby, a great jazz band, and Souled Out were fantastic, such energy! And what a superb presenter, he kept the kids interested throughout.  Emily Smith

I think that the work that Music For youth do is amazing. Anything that that can encourage and captivate children these days is to be commended – which is why Music for Youth is such a fantastic organisation. The energy and enthusiasm of children is astounding – and Music for Youth really excels at capturing it and turning it into something memorable – for the audience as well as those taking part.
In the short time that I have had experience of Music for Youth, I have been bowled over by how much effort and commitment goes into the organisation from the staff, children and sponsors and I think that anyone that has the time, patience or money to help such an organisation to progress, ought to be applauded.  Libby Hall


Photos by Andy Howes