Music for Youth is a national youth music charity working with young people aged 25 and under across the UK. Our vision is to ensure that every young person in the UK can achieve their musical potential by performing the music they love. We believe that music, and the chance to participate in high-quality musical activities, should be open to every young person.
We believe that young people make great music, and our role is to advocate for young musicians and support them on their journey. We are proud to support future generations of musicians, composers, songwriters, performers and producers and we do everything possible to remove barriers to participation. All our events are free to attend, there are no minimum entry requirements, and every style and genre of music is welcome; we encourage all young musicians to get involved, from those just starting out, to more experienced performers.
We transform young lives by staging high-quality musical projects and inspirational experiences for young people, including the UK’s largest youth music festival in locations across the country in Spring, the National Festival in summer and the Music for Youth Proms at the Royal Albert Hall in London in November.
We create partnerships with industry professionals, music institutions, schools, higher education and grass roots music organisations. We work with young people at a local and regional level, working with a wide range of communities to support their development and wellbeing. Uniquely, our work takes place across the whole of the UK with events in all nine regions of England, Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland. This coverage enables us to support and tour the work of other partner organisations so they can reach young people further afield.
For over 50 years, Music for Youth’s annual cycle of regional festivals, local events, a national festival and showcase concerts has made a significant contribution to the music education calendar, bringing together regional providers and young performers, and putting young people’s own achievements into a wider national context.
Music for Youth has four main purposes:
We produce and stage high-quality professional standard live music events (including gigs, concerts, and festivals) for young musicians, both regionally at grass roots level, and at the UK’s most prestigious live music venues.
We nurture and develop young musicians so they can realise their musical potential, by initiating adventurous collaborations, commissioning new music, and providing a robust music mentoring programme.
We provide skills and training development for young people looking for a career in the creative industries in non-performance and stagecraft roles such as stage management, sound engineering, lighting and digital production skills.
We campaign to highlight the brilliance of young musicians.
Our Events and Programmes
We provide young people with the opportunity to participate in a wide range of events, programmes and workshops, both live and online. This includes our National Festival held in Birmingham each summer, the MFY Proms at the Royal Albert Hall in November, as well as smaller regional and genre-specific events held across the country throughout the year, alongside an ongoing programme of digital activities.
Developing young artists forms a vital part of our work and music mentoring is central to this. Our Music for Youth Mentors are respected professional musicians and music educators working across the musical spectrum, and together we support hundreds of groups and individuals with their unique musical development.
MFY Mentors are present at all our events, including the Regional and National Festivals, providing all participants with access to advice from experts in their field.
Mentors offer critique and support to all participants, whether in person at an event, or in the form of written feedback or an online Mentor-On-Call session.
We offer young people aged 16 - 25 the opportunity to work with us at our events. This not only gives young people the opportunity to learn new skills, it also gives them first-hand experience of what is involved in creating a national event, in the run-up, on the night and behind the scenes