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Hull Sound Circles: Shaped by Young People

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a young boy plays with musical equipment

Hull Sound Circles is a not-for-profit organisation creating positive change in people’s lives through music.

For eight years, Hull Sound Circles has provided free music projects to disadvantaged groups in the East Hull area. With a focus on inclusive music education for a range of ages and abilities, they aim to improve mental health and wellbeing at the same as building musical skills.

Local communities

Aware of the powerful impact that music can have on communities, Hull Sound Circles delivers musical programmes to young people in their own environments, thus reducing barriers to access, raising aspirations, and improving the quality of life in local communities overall.

By supporting organisations such as Hull Sound Circles through the Trailblazer Fund, Youth Music is able to push forward our mission of enabling children and young people to make, learn and earn in music – whatever their background or goal.

Shaped by young people

As a response to funding cuts to youth clubs, Hull Sound Circles launched their project, Musical Routes. Offering one-year residencies for young people aged 9-19 in their own communities, the project reduces barriers to music-making for marginalised groups in the local area, such as refugees and young women, who may have safety concerns or worries around travel costs.

Knowing the value of youth voice, Musical Routes is led by its participating young people. Not only do they inform the music leaders what they would like to work on, but the young people also lead part of the sessions, writing original songs both individually and a group. Additionally, the young people involved in Musical Routes have chaired some of the programme’s evaluation meetings.

By letting young people shape the project, Hull Sound Circles is equalising access to music making, learning, and earning. Amplifying young voices empowers young people by developing their confidence and communication skills.

girls learn music theory


Hull Sound Circles’ Musical Routes programme has so far engaged 23 young people of varying complex needs and hopes to become a popular music club outside of the city centre as it grows.

At Musical Routes, young people learn how to read music, play instruments, compose original songs, and then perform, record, and produce a short album.

Moreover, Musical Routes offers arts awards and signposts participants to other opportunities across the city.

Not only has Musical Routes increased the abilities of its participants but contributing to a project they have shaped themselves also improved their confidence. In total, seven of the young people gained an Arts Award Bronze and three an Arts Award Discover, opening doors to the next step of their musical journeys.

a group of children play drums while seated in a circle

Youth Music’s Trailblazer Fund is currently open for applications until Friday 23 June 2023. Find out more and apply here.

Thanks to National Lottery via Arts Council England for supporting the Trailblazer Fund.