Making young people’s views count in Gloucestershire

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Two music students from Gloucestershire met with young people from London’s Wired4Music network recently, to share their experiences of making and learning music, and think about how young people in Gloucestershire can have more of a voice in the future.

Ben Finnegan and Callum Smith are in their final year studying Music Performance B.Tech Level 3 at Gloucestershire College. They run an annual gig/festival (Massacre) in Gloucester for emerging musicians (which Ben started when he was 14), and actively promote and connect up musicians and bands in the city. They have their own hardcore/metal band (read about their band in our interview).

Wired4Music is an initiative that was kick-started by Sound Connections, and has seen the emergence of a manifesto for music created by young people; a group of advocates who speak at conferences and meetings; various events and symposia about music and young people; and a leadership programme for 16-24 year olds to help them realise their creative business potential. Their reps included an opera student from Guildhall, a rapper, a classical guitarist and a radio DJ.

Over two hours, the group talked about a range of issues to do with enabling more young people to make music – particularly those who traditionally miss out – and supporting those who already do but may lack support or progression routes. Three of the issues that consistently emerge in Gloucestershire are the need for:

  1. spaces where young people can make and record music, particularly in Gloucester (a finding which emerged in previous research)
  2. young people at secondary age to have opportunities to explore making music creatively together outside of curriculum time, but probably in schools – eg afterschool or weekend clubs/centres
  3. young people to be made aware of the wide variety of post-school progression routes in music, from music leader to promoter to self-employed musician The slide show above  shows just some of the ideas that were discussed.

This is part of Make Music Gloucestershire’s year-long programme of work with Wired4Music, a music network for Londoners aged 16-25 (and Sound Connections the organisation behind it) – to ensure young people have a voice in the future of music making and learning in the county. Read Make Music Gloucestershire’s Youth Consultation report to find out what young people had to say in our online survey and the workshops in schools, carried out last Spring, which kick-started this work.

If you’re aged between 11-18, passionate about making or learning music, and would like to join other like-minded young people for pizza and discussion about similar topics, then sign up to our Student Views enewsletter  and we’ll keep you updated. 


About anitanee

I'm a freelance copywriter and communications practitioner based in Monmouth, Wales, UK. I specialise in working with music and arts organisations with a social or educational purpose, as well as small charities. Find out more: Visit our music education research site: Get free advice and resources by signing up to my enews: Read the blog:

Posted on February 12, 2016, in Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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