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Exchanging Notes

The project, run by Drake Music, works with disabled young people at Belvue School in Ealing. It's one of nine Exchanging Notes projects across the country, which are collaborations between schools and community music organisations.

Young people take the lead in Youth Music projects. They’re 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.

We invest in long-term, sustainable music-making activities. Youth Music projects last between six months and two years. The young participants come back week after week. And when they’re ready to leave, or the project comes to an end, staff help them progress to the next step. A job, a college course, another music-making challenge: we help young people to follow their chosen path.

We invest in projects, and we invest in people too. Each year there are around 3,000 staff members, 1,300 trainees, and 900 volunteers bringing Youth Music projects to life. We help the workforce to develop in their careers, learn from each other, and to provide the very best support for young participants.

Young man on a chair facing away from the camera

Viv's story

"Working with people younger than I am helps me stay in touch with what the kids are listening to right now, and I’m constantly pushed to try new production techniques, depending on the sort of music they want to make.”