About Youth Music

Supporting life-changing music-making

We’re Youth Music. We’re a national charity investing in music-making projects for children and young people experiencing challenging circumstances.

We believe everyone should have the chance to make music.

Our projects help young people to develop musically, of course, but they also have personal and social outcomes too.

We support young people to build their confidence, resilience, and self-esteem. To make friends, learn to trust each other, and stop anti-social behaviour. To develop vital skills they need, get support to be able to face the world, and take control of their own lives.

We help to create opportunity.

We know that those facing difficulties - economic problems, lifelong conditions, tough circumstances or behavioural issues - are often the ones who get the most out of music-making.

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.

Youth Music offers meaningful chances to young people in complicated situations.

Music-making is life-changing.

We invest in music-making projects where they’re really needed. Bringing opportunities for children to learn a new musical genre in a town where not much happens. Supporting a ground-breaking initiative in a deprived part of a city. Responding to difficult challenges like young people at risk of radicalisation.

Communities divided by prejudice or gangs can be brought together to perform. Writing lyrics can enable a bereaved teenager to express their grief. Making hip-hop beats can help a kid understand maths in a way they never grasped at school.

We do things differently. We know that what we do works.

We believe in practical, creative music-making of every possible style and technique. Beatboxing and bhangra, grime and grindcore, classical and contemporary.

Young people take the lead in Youth Music projects. They are given opportunities to choose what and how they want to learn. Many go on to mentor other children, or to train as project leaders themselves.

Sessions are collaborative and inclusive. Music leaders encourage and inspire young people to learn at their own pace and in a way that best suits them. Every Youth Music project measures its impact, helping us build a unique national overview.

We could do so much more with your help.

Youth Music is run by 18 of us (and a dog!) working from a small office.

We’re lean and efficient. Our money is spent where it’s needed most: 89% is invested directly in over 350 projects across England. That’s around 75,000 children and young people regularly making music each year.

But we know there’s many times that number desperately waiting for our help. Currently we can only support around a third of applications we receive, and we know that’s just scratching the surface of the nationwide need. With your support, we can make a genuine difference and transform many more young lives.

Our vision

is that life-changing music-making is available to all children and young people.

Our mission

is to be at the heart of children and young people’s music-making, identifying and investing in learning activities for those with least opportunity. We use our unique intelligence to drive fresh thinking across music education.



Adam’s story

Youth Music mentoring helped Adam work through his problems.

Find out how music making benefits teenagers.