What Music Means to Me – Seldom Heard Voices in Music Education

Published on 27/09/2023

We are committed to putting children and young people at the heart of all of our decision making. We are keen to understand how we best meet the needs of all of the musical young people in Sheffield. As part of this work we were delighted to commission the Voice and Influence team at Sheffield City Council to reach out to specific groups of young people and to learn from some organisations doing great work in our communities.

You can read the full report and recommendations here.

The findings have been powerful and we hope they will bring around real change. Some key messages from the work include:

“Young People link music directly to their feelings and emotions. 73% of those surveyed in schools don’t receive music additional provision but clearly state music plays a significant role in their lives”

“Young People who don’t currently have lessons are keen to learn and engage in a range of genres of music”

“Drill, rap and bassline were the three top genre choices across the young people surveyed in the three schools”

“A wide range of genres were spoken about, some of which we’d not even heard of before!” 

“young peoples most asked for support was a teacher or mentor. They would like this to be someone they can relate to, someone who knows the genre well and can engage them in it”

“young people would like music provision to be close to them, or in their school, or home or close by”

“for those who currently receive musical tuition their most  helpful support would be for them to have access to space such as a recording studio followed by time with a mentor or artist”

The voice and influence workers have set us 12 challenges to respond to their findings. These can be seen in the attached presentation

We have themed our response to four key areas – they are:

Musical Diversity – wider workforce and connection with partners

Partners – understanding how we can celebrate and support our partners

Youth Voice and Participation – How we can continue to gather the widest possible range of voices on a regular basis

Schools – how can we support this crucial part of the ecosystem, celebrating good practice and supporting those schools with work still to do. 

You can read our full response and plan here 

And more details in our inclusion strategy.

If you want to help us on our mission do please get in touch with our inclusion lead heather.burge@sheffield.gov.uk