National Centre for Early Music

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Music4U is a key project of the National Centre for Early Music's creative learning and participation programme, which seeks to build a more musically inclusive England. Music4U reaches across York, Hull and the East Riding of Yorkshire and provides musical engagement and development opportunities for young people aged 0-25, particularly targeting those whose life circumstances make it difficult for them to otherwise access musical learning. The current Music4U project has developed from 17 years of experience as a Youth Music Action Zone and subsequently a Musical Inclusion provider.

There are five core outcomes at the heart of Music4U:
  • To develop self-efficacy (particularly confidence, communication and team-working skills) in young people living in challenging circumstances, through musical engagement;
  • To improve the musical skills and knowledge of young people living in challenging circumstances;
  • To improve knowledge and skills among delivery partners, particularly focusing on legacy, sustainability, advocacy, evaluation and reflective practice;
  • To develop a culture of inclusive practice among strategic stakeholders, particularly increasing awareness of the broad array of musical genres, progression routes and expectations of quality that are appropriate for and accessible to young people living in challenging circumstances;
  • To develop young people's cultural and social awareness, encouraging them to value themselves and others from a diverse array of backgrounds.
These outcomes are brought about through a vibrant and diverse programme of musical activities, spanning genres from DJ'ing and beatboxing to traditional African drumming, from classical Javanese gamelan to contemporary classical composition, and beyond. All practical activities are delivered by highly-skilled community musicians and are tailored to the young people taking part, with opportunities for participants to gain accreditation, such as the Arts Award. Legacy and continuity are particularly important and Music4U seeks to support young people to carry on their musical journeys beyond the end of each project.

The project also works to develop the sector, particularly through close partnership working with the three Music Education Hubs in the region - York Music Hub , Hull Music Hub and the East Riding Music Hub - seeking to develop inclusive practice and ensure that every child and young person has access to musical opportunity, in line with the National Plan for Music Education. Music4U is also committed to the development of the workforce, including music practitioners, non-music specialists and core project staff, through a wide-ranging CPD offer running alongside practical delivery. Practice from the project is shared on the Youth Music Network , alongside news, jobs, opportunities and resources from the sector.

Examples of current and recent projects include:
Music4U is delivered in partnership between the National Centre for Early Music, Hull City Council, the East Riding of Yorkshire Council and York Music Hub, and is funded by Youth Music.