Young people influencing the future of music education in Lancashire…
Lancashire Music Hub have been developing youth voice within their organisation since 2017 through the Amplify programme. This has included projects, meetings, research, commissions, consultation and events all with the aim of ensuring young people’s voices are represented at a strategic level and can influence the shape of music education and opportunities in the county.
In July 2022, Amplify welcomed 12 new young board members ages between 14 and 19 from across Lancashire, all with different musical experiences and interests. This board will be taking the Amplify programme this year, planning events and campaigns to raise the profile of music in the county and making sure opportunities are relevant and accessible.
Amplify board member Andi Georghiou-Pouncy shares her experience and why it’s so important to her…
The Amplify Youth Board has been a great opportunity for me to explore how to help other young people in my area find the joy of music. Learning about how music education in Lancashire operates and how it can be improved has been a fantastic introduction to the world of interactions between governing bodies and the people they govern. It has taught me a lot about how young people across the county have experienced music education, and how those in charge of it decide what and how it should be taught. The mission of Amplify is to improve how music education is distributed across the county, looking at both areas where students may feel they have been let down and drawing attention to the incredible groups already existing across Lancashire.
My own part in Amplify mainly centres around defining the priorities of the group; as well as looking into how we can connect with other youth boards up and down the country to compare and build on music education nation-wide. This has been a truly remarkable position where, even as a high-school student in a rural town in Lancashire, I have been given responsibilities and a unique chance to improve the study of music in all its forms for thousands of people my age.
As a board, we believe music is an essential part of a child’s right to be creative and express themselves. In order to achieve this for every child, it is vital to ensure that there is adequate funding and total accessibility. We already have a remarkable range of activities in Lancashire and the Lancashire Music Service do a fantastic job of supplying resources and technologies to schools. We are simply here to build on that to create an even better – more student-led – musical offer both inside and out of school.
This is very important to me as a student playing in multiple ensembles for my school and for the county. Music has been a hugely important part of my life and getting to be a part of what spreads that experience to more people has been a privilege that I won’t forget. The board is still fairly new and I am looking forward to staying with it and helping to direct its influence as it grows. The meetings have been fun filled but deeply engaging as we tackle important questions as to what music truly means to us and what areas we wish to develop for young people in Lancashire. I personally found it to be a very meaningful discussion that has changed how I view music and my part in it, but it also had the effect of allowing us to decide what truly mattered when getting people into the music industry. It’s not about being the next prodigy, and it’s not about following musical traditions to the letter; it’s about having a go and enjoying playing whatever music you want to play, whether that’s classical, rock, hip-hop, or something entirely your own!