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Sound of the Next Generation 2024

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In 2024, Youth Music surveyed 2,100 children and young people to better understand their relationship with music.

We asked how they were accessing it, how it made them feel, and what impact it had on their everyday lives. We then hosted interviews with young people, parents and industry experts to help us interpret the findings. This report outlines our findings and recommendations. It describes the role young people’s background, education and talent play in shaping their relationship with music and explores whether – like generations before them – the nation’s love of music persists.

music is power

When surveyed, 83% of young people had listened to music in the past week. We heard loud and clear how integral music is to their wellbeing and identity.

71% told us that music is a big part of who they are.

68% feel like they couldn’t live without music.

70% say music helps them feel connected to others.

times are tough

Young people are feeling less musical, especially girls and those from the North of England.

Just 55% of young people now say they are musical, down 9% from 2018.

music is life

Young people are listening to music regularly, but their musical needs aren’t being met. Only 58% feel supported with making music. This gets worse as they get older, with young people increasingly keeping the music they make to themselves.

The biggest barriers to music are:

Access + cost
6-17 year olds

Time + ability
18-25 year olds


Charlotte Edgeworth & Guvna B

Youth Music Co-Chairs

"As the opportunity to access music both in and out of school is squeezed, we urgently need investment in our national music infrastructure that includes grassroots provision, an inclusive curriculum and a focus on work-based skills to ensure that the next generation can thrive and grow." - Charlotte Edgeworth

“This report shows that life is tough for young people, but music is a powerful tool. In a world where listening to music tops the list of activities that young people today turn to, it is vital that it’s available to everyone - not just the listening part, but making it and learning about it too.” - Guvna B

a person with dark curls holds a microphone and wears a blue hoodie unzipped over a black top

“Some of these technological things make it seem so false and so synthetic. The terminology I used is ‘A fast food generation of music’, because it’s so easily accessible, it’s so easily created, and then it so easily gets thrown away. After people have, y’know, listened to it for a bit and they’re sick of it, they move onto the next one, y’know?" - Kemmi, Young creative at Allstar, Bradford


“As a Black LGBT singer-songwriter producer it’s disheartening to see these statistics, showing that people from both sides of that diaspora feel less encouraged to walk in their destiny of making music or working in music. It’s something I feel really passionate about changing, as I never want to see a young black person or a young queer person feel discouraged about being a part of this industry.” - MNEK, Youth Music Ambassador