You are here: Challenging circumstances

We believe everyone should have the chance to make music. Some young people grow up lucky. With a safe home, a supportive family, and enough money to get by. Doing ok at school. Free from prejudice. Healthy and happy.

Chances are, if these young people want to make music, they’ll be able to. And that’s brilliant. Right now, they don’t need our help.

Unfortunately many kids face challenges in their lives.

Children with disabilities. Kids struggling with drugs or alcohol, or with their mental wellbeing. Toddlers with communication difficulties. Young carers. Teenagers in trouble with the law. Young people excluded from school and society.

Music is one of the many things they miss out on.

Young woman playing bass

We know that those facing difficulties are often the ones who get the most out of music-making. The problems young people face can be very complicated, and often interrelated. Sometimes a problem is temporary, and sometimes it’s something that will stay with them throughout their lives.

These are the young people who need Youth Music most. Since 1999, we’ve been here to make sure they can make music.

Hayley holding her bass guitar in a lesson with Ken

Economic difficulties

Financial circumstances are often closely linked to other challenges including mental health issues, lack of engagement with education, housing problems and poor health.

Music-making provides young people with valuable transferrable skills to help them gain employment, including computer skills, improved numeracy and motivation.

Elijah playing the djembe with Gidde Bille

Life conditions

Young people with disabilities, learning difficulties or health issues may find that traditional music-making routes are hard to access or don’t cater to their needs. Youth Music projects work in partnership with special schools, hospitals and support services to refer young people to music-making opportunities.

Music-making gives young people confidence in their abilities, and helps to foster strong friendships.

Shallise performing live at Raw Material

Life circumstances

Children and young people who are facing difficult circumstances may feel they don’t have the means to get involved in music-making. These include those living in rural isolation, young carers or refugees.

Music-making gives young people an important respite from their problems, and can help them to overcome loneliness and depression.

Pembe in the studio

Behavioural issues

Children and young people whose behaviour is viewed as challenging or anti-social are often responding to other difficulties in their lives. These include those who face exclusion from school, with substance abuse problems, or who have committed offences.

Music-making helps young people to express their emotions, and to engage with their local communities.