Young people’s stories
Read case studies about the impact our projects have had for children and young people and their families and carers, as well as the music leaders and youth workers who support them.
Angeline is an R&B singer, campaigner and aspiring journalist brought up in Rochdale. A Youth Music project has helped her educate and inspire other young people by opening up about her past.
Drummer Tommy, 15, is studying GCSE Music and loves composing his own beats. It’s a real change from a few years ago, when he had issues controlling his temper and was excluded from school several times.
Pembe was one of the first people to join the Five O Band, a ground-breaking project which saw police officers and ‘at-risk’ young people form a band together.
As part of Youth Music’s Exchanging Notes programme, 17-year-old Ashley has taken part in one-to-one music-making sessions at school. He’s developed his ability to express himself and amazed teachers with his progress.
Louis is a skilled guitarist, pianist, drummer and singer. When he started at Plymouth Music Zone he was struggling with severe anxiety and was unable to speak to anyone. Making music has helped him find his voice.
Shallise is a 22-year-old singer and songwriter from south London. Making music helped her cope after the loss of her dad.
Tomas, a 21-year-old drummer from Cambridge, was diagnosed with cancer in his first year at university. Making music has helped him recover emotionally.
Elijah found communication difficult and struggled in school. African drumming has given him the confidence to express himself, socialise with others, and even get GCSE grades that no one expected.
Hayley was bullied at school for being ‘different’ to other girls. With the support of a music project at her local youth centre, she’s discovered her potential on the bass guitar and found a new self-belief.
Nate first attended a Youth Music project aged 15. Now aged 23, he earns his living from performing and vocal coaching – and he’s sung live on both the X Factor and Eurovision.
Jonny is 20 and has Down’s syndrome. He’s also a talented rapper. A music-making project in his home city of York has become a huge part of his life.
Mollie, a talented singer from Derby, has faced many difficulties in her 17 years. Living in care. Running away. Being arrested. Becoming a mum. It’s no wonder that getting an education has been a challenge at times.
From a young age, Ben’s loved making music. He’s also had to face the challenge of being labelled as a young person with autism and mental health issues.
Mike used to have trouble controlling his behaviour. A music-making project run by the Castaway Music Theatre has helped him settle and discover his talent on the bass guitar.
Jordyn is transgender, and had a really tough time in school. Things got so bad at one stage that they attempted to take their own life. But being part of a music project has transformed their confidence.
Sian has had to spend a lot of time in hospital as a teenager. A Youth Music project helped her forget about her health worries and gave her a new belief in her abilities.
Growing up in a military family has sometimes made life extra challenging for Beth and Jack. The Connect-Create project has helped them develop musical skills, make new friends and meet other young people in the same situation.
Deaf children like Isma and Aisha don’t always get the chance to make music. A project run by Yorkshire Youth & Music has given them the opportunity to learn to play instruments and boosted their confidence.
Lydia has a rare brain disorder that means she can’t walk or talk. She’s had to spend a lot of her life so far in hospital. The Songbirds project has helped Lydia learn to communicate with her family through music.
14-year-old Joanna wasn’t sure what to expect when she walked into a music studio for the first time. But after taking part in the Here Come the Grrrls project, she’s learned new skills and now feels confident about pursuing a potential career in music.
Reece experienced bullying at school, depression and social anxiety, which stopped him singing. The Outburst project for LGBT young people in Nottingham helped him to express his personality, make new friends, and begin to consider a career in music.
Every Youth Music project measures its impact, helping us build a unique national overview.