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WILD Young Parents: Music Makes Us Happy

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a dad with brown hair and a beard, and a toddler in a blue onesie sit on a wooden patio and laugh together
Photo from WILD Young Parents

WILD Young Parents is the UK’s biggest young parent organisation. Based in Cornwall, the organisation has been supported by Youth Music for several years now.

WILD Young Parents is all about making sure young people' voices are front and centre in everything they do. Crafted hand-in-hand with those they support, their Catalyser Fund aided project, ‘Music Makes Me Happy – Our Stories’ helps the young parents and their babies express themselves and share their tales through music.

Telling stories through song

Jo Davies, the passionate CEO of WILD shared that ‘Our Stories’ was created after noticing young parents have this natural creative spark. With music, they can channel this creativity to tell their stories, keeping the Cornish tradition of storytelling alive and passing it on to their kids.

“We believe creative expression is really important in being able to better express and understand your own emotions, better cope with strong emotions, and be able to negotiate family relationships and build friendships,” Jo says.

“We have always had a strong connection with the arts at WILD. Although we have outcomes that are focused on broader things like health and children's social care and wellbeing and growing up to live the best life possible, one of the things we really believe enables that is having a chance from the earliest age possible to be creative.”

Breaking down barriers

WILD’s early years programme is all about giving babies a voice and helping them to explore it. “The children of young parents start school on average with an 11 month delay in speech and language; having music embedded from the earliest ages is a really good precursor as it's a preverbal skill. Things like call and answer between a parent and the baby, hearing rhythm and understanding rhythm, having a sing song, a story book or repeated nursery rhymes, they're all part of a child learning to communicate, and really good for their brain development,” Jo explained.

The team at WILD soon discovered that the young parents were eager to dive into music too. Many had faced serious challenges like domestic abuse, mental health issues, homelessness, substance abuse, and low income, making music lessons and group sessions seem out of reach.

“At the beginning [of WILD’s funding journey with Youth Music], we knew nothing about music,” Jo admits. “But what we did know was that whenever our families were involved with music making, they just seemed happier. Whenever they were singing and playing music or listening to music in any way whatsoever, things seemed to be better.”

Is your organisation looking for a grant? Find out more about Youth Music’s funds.

Magic Acorns - Germination Project

Supported via Youth Music's Trailblazer Fund, Germination was a professional development project from Magic Acorns for early childhood educators, emerging artists and musicians.


Discover funding options available with Youth Music.