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Music4U's Youth Music Mentors Scheme Secures Major Funding Award

12 February 2009

Photo/Broadcast Opportunity: Teenagers will be recording their own hardcore music at Nova Studios, Ella Street, Hull with local Professional Musician, Alan Jones, on Mon 16 Feb at 11.30am

Music4U, the Humber Region Youth Music Action Zone which is co-ordinated by the National Centre for Early Music, has recently received a major three year funding award from the DCMS of over £40K for the period 2009 -2012 for Youth Music Mentors following a highly successful pilot year in 2008.

The Youth Music Mentoring scheme provides professional adult music mentors support for twenty 11-25 year olds in Hull each year. Two groups meet fortnightly at Kingston Youth Centre, Beverley Road, Hull, and work with two fully trained Music4U Community Musicians. Alistair Wilson supports the DJ MC group and Donna Smith works with the singer songwriter group, by helping them to identify and achieve their goals and further their musical and personal development. In addition, the young people regularly get the chance to record their own tracks at professional music studio Nova Studios supported by Professional Musician Alan Jones. The project is one of just 17 currently running in the UK co-ordinated by Youth Music and funded by the DCMS.

Kyola, aged 17, has been involved with the DJ MC group, HWA (Hardcore with Attitude) and says of her experience over the last 8 months: "I started with my own set of decks when I was nine so I already had some skills and experience to bring to the group. What's been great about the mentoring scheme is the confidence it has given me around other people. It gives us the chance to practice, and then get really good feedback from Alistair on everything from the way you present yourself when you are performing, right down to the best way to set up your equipment, what to look out for and try to upgrade to on the technical side and how to meet all the health and safety aspects involved in DJ-ing.

Working with HWA has really made it clear to me that I want to go on and not just build up my own performing career but I also want to share what I've learned with other young people and help them improve. I've also met loads of new friends through the gigs we go to and it's really good to share stuff with the other bands we meet."

Samantha Sumerfield, Co-ordinator of the Youth Music Mentors scheme in Hull said of the funding boost: "This funding award is a fantastic vote of confidence for everyone involved in the Youth Mentors scheme in Hull. It enables the groups to develop the excellent work they have been producing over the last year and we hope it will encourage other young people in the area who would like to take their musical interests and skills on to a higher level, to come and join us. Each year we aim to help around 20 young people and in doing so meet new friends, learn new skills and techniques and have an opportunity to share their own skills with other young people as well as work towards the nationally recognised qualification the 'Arts Awards'.

She went on to note some recent successes of the pilot scheme last year:"One young DJ came to us via the Youth Offenders Team and he has really turned his life around whilst on the project. He has recently been awarded £1,400 from The Princes' Trust to run his own DJ workshops for Youth Offenders with support from Music4U. It has been very rewarded to be part of a scheme like this which can really make a positive difference to young people's lives."

To find out more about the Youth Music Mentors visit or myspace at or email the team at

Press Contact:Shona Galletly on 07813 796 733 / 0113 255 1308

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Editors Notes:
Music4U is the Humber Region Youth Music Action Zone. Music4U is co-ordinated by the National Centre for Early Music working in partnership with the East Riding of Yorkshire, Hull, North East Lincolnshire and North Lincolnshire Councils. The Action Zones have been instigated and funded by Youth Music and are supported by Arts Council England, Yorkshire. More info is available at

Youth Music is a UK-wide charity that funds and facilitates music making for young people up to the age of 18, particularly those living in areas of social and economic need. By 2010, Youth Music aims to have reached 3 million children and young people in a UK-wide strategy to support youth music making. More info is available at  . Since the creation of the first Youth Music Action Zone in 2000, the concept has been rolled out over 24 regions across England and Wales, some of which are now in their sixth year of operation. With a remit to support music-making activities for some of the UK's most disadvantaged young people, Youth Music Action Zones have gone on to reach over 230,000 children and young people, encouraging their talents, building their confidence and transforming the landscape of musical opportunity throughout the UK. The music making supported is of the widest variety, from hip-hop and dj-ing to classical and jazz.