Give a Gig for Youth Music
Posted on 31st January 2017 at 14:00
Youth Music is a national charity investing in music-making projects for children and young people facing challenging circumstances. These challenges include disability, poverty, mental health issues, refugee status or being brought up in care. Founded in 1999, Youth Music runs more than 350 projects across England, facilitating music making for around 75,000 children and young people.
This March, the charity is running a week-long music making extravaganza. Give a Gig week, which runs from March 24th to 31st 2017, is a nationwide project asking musicians to put on performances supporting young people.
The aim is to see 100 gigs in settings from living rooms, local pubs and community facilities to legendary music venues or even more unusual spaces. York-based covers band, The Monotones, plan to stream gigs live from all Three Peaks in the Yorkshire Pennines!
Matt Griffiths, Youth Music’s CEO, says:
"We’re really excited about Give a Gig Week. The money raised from the 100 gigs across the country will ensure that young people experiencing challenges in their lives can regularly make music. Musicians, bands and those making music for fun know first-hand the personal and social benefits of music making and how it can help overcome really difficult situations. I urge you to get involved and put on a gig so that many more young people have that opportunity too."
Youth Music supports practical, creative music making of every possible style and technique, with activities including songwriting, music production and performance. Projects include the Songbirds project, which provides music making for seriously ill children at Royal Manchester Children’s Hospital, and Amies Freedom Choir in London, supporting young women who have been trafficked into the UK.
These opportunities improve personal and social skills as well as helping young people develop musically, and can give participants the tools to face difficult challenges in their lives. Communities divided by prejudice or gangs can be brought together to perform. Learning to write song lyrics can enable a bereaved teenager to express and process grief. Making hip-hop beats can help a young person to understand maths in a way they perhaps couldn’t grasp at school.
Before their chart-topping success, hip-hop duo Rizzle Kicks performed on the Youth Music stage at the Underage Music Festival in 2009. The duo explain:
"Without Youth Music we wouldn’t have got to where we are today, honestly! We’re supporting Give a Gig ‘cause we want others to have the same opportunities for making music that we did."
Laura Mvula honed her songwriting skills with Black Voices, a project supported by Youth Music in Birmingham. Now working as an Ambassador for the charity, Laura says:
"Give a Gig is a really good idea because it allows singers, musicians and venues to do what they’re already doing for the benefit of a young person."
And pop star Sophie Ellis-Bextor spoke up for the initiative:
"Music is a huge part of my life and I feel so lucky to have been able to make a career out of something that I love so much. Youth Music creates music-making opportunities for thousands who would otherwise miss out. That’s why I’m supporting Give a Gig – so others can experience the joys of music as I’ve done."
It’s easy to get involved – Youth Music offers a useful support pack with advice on planning and promoting gigs, as well as an online poster generator for creating publicity materials. Sign up at www.giveagig.org.uk
Follow Give a Gig Week:
Twitter: @giveagig #giveagig
Give a Gig Week takes place nationwide from 24 -31 March, 2017. To register your gig visit www.giveagig.org.uk
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