Music for Youth is a national youth arts charity working to provide young people aged 21 and under across the UK with free, life-changing performance and progression opportunities, regardless of background or musical style.
Established in 1970, our mission is simple: we believe that music, and the chance to participate in high-quality musical activities, should be open to every young person.
Music for Youth is about nurturing not only the next generation of musical talent, but the next generation full stop. Whether you're a violinist, or beatboxer, a young person who's never had the chance to experience live music, or the leader of a primary school choir just starting out, we have something for you, or for the young people you work with. We pride ourselves on being open, accessible, and welcoming, so don't be shy.
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Music for Youth works with tens of thousands of young people across the UK every year. Our current year-long season of events consists of the following:
- Regional Festivals
- National Festival
- Festival Fringe
- New Music Stage
- Music for Youth Proms
- Exchange Scotland
- Primary Proms
- MFY Connects
We put on a range of different events both at Regional, local levels, and at a National UK-wide level.
Our year, or "season" starts with 50 Regional Festivals that take place in venues right across the UK between January and April. Over 40,000 young people take part in the Regional Festival series every year. Showcasing jazz bands, school choirs, steel pans, string orchestras, and so much more, these events give young musicians the chance to feel part of something bigger, showcase their talent and receive valuable feedback from our Music Mentors.
From the Regional Festival series we then programme our five-day National Festival which takes place in Birmingham during the first week of July. Around 10,000 young musicians descend on Birmingham across this week, taking to the stage at world-class performance venues and outdoor spaces across the city. With different days and sessions focusing on different styles of music and musical groups, this is a chance for young musicians to connect with others from across the UK and share their work. All sessions are open to a public audience, so why not come along?
Alongside the Main Stage performances at the National Festival, the Festival Fringe offers a whole range of musical activities, outdoor stages, workshops and opportunities to collaborate with professional artists to all of the 40,000 musicians who have taken part in a Regional Festival.
Alongside these opportunities we also run our Frequencies programme. Taking place at iconic live music venues across the UK throughout the year, Frequencies is designed for young bands, collectives and solo artists under 21 looking to start or further a career in music. These events offer the chance for young artists to come together with professional artists for sought after performance opportunities, networking, and performer collaboration workshops.
Meanwhile, Exchange in Scotland offers young Scottish performers performance platforms, access to panel discussions and sessions with music industry professionals, networking opportunities, career advice and artist-led workshops.
The culmination of our year of events is the Music for Youth Proms held at the Royal Albert Hall every November. Showcasing performers from all our different strands of work across the year, the Music for Youth Proms really is a celebration of the very best young musical talent that the UK has to offer.
Across the year we also put on a selection of inspirational Primary Proms. Performed by young people, for young people, these events provide Primary school children with first-hand experience of live music-making in a fun and engaging environment at major concert halls across the UK.
MFY Invites... creates opportunities for young people to take centre-stage at major business and industry events outside of Music for Youth's season, giving access to new audiences, settings, and experiences.
New Music Stage is a celebration of new music of any style created by the best, most diverse and talented young musicians between the age of 12 and 21 across the UK. Young people and organisations are invited to submit new work to our panel of music experts and artists who represent a range of musical styles and performance types. 6 of these new works are then presented live to the public at the five-day National Festival in Birmingham where the young creators and composers also receive valuable feedback from our professional Music Mentors.
MFY Connects celebrates the achievements of performers at our National Festival, partnering young musicians with key organisations from across the arts and music sector in order to share the wealth of knowledge and guidance that they have to offer.