Awards for Young Musicians

Giving talent a chance

Furthering Talent

Furthering Talent targets and sustains young people with real, emerging musical talent from lower income families. Initiated by AYM in 2009, our programme helps children who have started to learn an instrument at school, through state-funded whole-class tuition, but whose families can’t afford to support their music-making development once this funding ends.

Furthering Talent comprises individual support (weekly, instrumental tuition and additional musical progression support) over at least two academic years for each participating young person; this is combined with professional development for music leaders concerned with identifying and progressing musical potential.

Described as ‘overwhelmingly successful’ by music education expert Richard Hallam, in his external evaluation of the programme’s impact (January 2013), Furthering Talent has received significant support from Youth Music over a number of years.  We have recently been invited by Youth Music to join the Alliance for a Musically Inclusive England. The work has been made possible by funding from the National Lottery via Arts Council England.

As we reach our 20th anniversary year in 2018 we’re very proud to be one of only 2 national charities in the 13-strong Alliance. This is a major endorsement of the work of AYM. As a member of the Alliance we will receive significant funding from Youth Music over the next four years for our Furthering Talent programme, which will enable us to support and progress the instrumental playing and musical development of many more young people from low-income backgrounds, helping them overcome their personal and cultural challenges, working with parents/carers, music leaders and Hubs to change the way musical progression is supported across England.” Hester Cockcroft, Director

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We will continue to partner  Music Education Hubs in Brighton & Hove, Greater Manchester, Staffordshire & Stoke on Trent, Leicestershire and Nottinghamshire and will expand the programme over a number of other Hub areas.

Here is a  video snapshot of Furthering Talent, filmed at one of our Get Together events, in Staffordshire.

The mother of a Furthering Talent student writes:

“I’m actually lost for words. The help and support that is offered to these young musicians is amazing. I had recognised that Sarah had a little more than ‘being good’ at music and had looked into music lessons for her, but the cost of the instrument, the tuition and the travel to lessons (I don’t drive) was more than I could afford.

I cannot express my thanks enough for the fantastic start this is giving Sarah. Sarah is almost 10 and has a 7 year old autistic brother (plus two grown up brothers). We’ve had a pretty rocky few years with women’s aid refuges, having to start all over again in a new home, the death of my youngest son…. it’s been a tough time for us all and, of course, a bit of depression for me. Sarah needs this. Her confidence has been boosted and the smile I see on her face when she’s finished a piece of music is wonderful to see.”

Words by the mother of Sarah, a Furthering Talent pupil.

Furthering Talent also receives generous support from the Andrew Lloyd Webber Foundation