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Youth Music Updates
Photo from Music Action International
Welcome to our first Network Newsletter for 2021 and Happy New Year to you all. Below is a message from our CEO Matt Griffiths:

As I write this, Lockdown 3 has just begun. Whilst the right thing to do bearing in mind the rapid surge in the transmission of the new variant, this will inevitably feel like yet another step back. Having said that, we’ve been here before so we do know what to do. Keeping safe and continuing to follow the government guidelines is vital, perhaps even more so at this critical stage to deal with the new variant and in the knowledge that the vaccination roll out has begun and further vaccines will be approved soon. So take good care of yourselves everyone – there is light at the end of this long tunnel we’re in.
Children and young people’s lives in music will continue to be at the forefront of all that we do at Youth Music alongside supporting the organisations and workforce working with them. We’ll make sure we keep getting our funds out the door as quickly as possible to support grass roots music-making and young people’s progression, particularly those who have been disproportionately affected by COVID-19 and where the barriers they already faced have in many ways increased.
The deadline for the second round of applications to our Incubator Fund is Friday 5th February. It was great to see the diverse range of organisations who were successful in round one, many of whom were new to the funding system – positive for both them and us. We’re currently planning a new funding programme for emerging creatives. Launching in the Spring, for the first time, we’ll be funding young creatives directly who are in the 18-25 age bracket. Watch this space!
Read on for plenty of up to the minute news and updates. And a big thank-you for all that you do to support young people’s personal, social and musical outcomes. We hear everyday the difference it makes and we’ll continue to do all that we can do to ensure it survives, thrives and innovates now and in the future.
Very best wishes to you all

Matt Griffiths
Youth Music CEO
New Lockdown COVID Restrictions
As we enter another national lockdown, you may wish to consult our coronavirus resource hub. This contains our updated blog outlining what activity is permitted under the new restrictions as well as our coronavirus policy and FAQs for applicants and grantholders. There are also a number of other resources to support online safety, wellbeing and digital working.
Incubator Fund Round 2 is now live
We were very pleased to announce in December that the launch of Round 2 of our new Incubator Fund. The fund is designed to help open up access to sustainable careers in music for people aged 18-25, particularly those who are underrepresented; and to support creative employers to innovate and incubate new and diverse talent. The fund is supported by players of People’s Postcode Lottery, and boosted by new support from YouTube which will provide digital innovation and investment to successful applicants. We're particularly seeking applications from organisations from Wales and Scotland, with specific Q&As being held this week focusing on organisations from both these areas who are interested. Tuesday 12th January will be for Wales and Wednesday 13th January will be for Scotland. 
Find Out More
New Youth Music Next Gen Podcast- All Episodes Out Now!
The Higher Frequency is our new Next Gen podcast, in partnership with Notion Magazine. All six episodes episodes the first Series are out now, so subscribe now and take a listen! 
Subscribe and Listen
ICYMI - Christmas songs from our projects
We know Christmas is over but wanted to spread some extra cheer into January by sharing some of the songs submitted by our projects in December. We asked young people from the projects we invest in to submit a video of them performing a festive song of their choice. The results showcase huge amounts of talent and creativity, from covers of Christmas classics to original songs penned in lockdown.
Network Blog of the Month
Image from My Pockets
This issue's top blog from December is from My Pockets about "Lollypop in Lockdown - Working remotely with LGBT teens during Covid." 

Shane McMurry writes: "LBGT teens are often in environments where they are "different" and in the minority. The Lollypop group is an opportunity for LGBT teens to meet, support each other and have fun in an environment where they experience the comfort of being in the majority".

More top December blog posts from the Youth Music Network. 

As always there's lots of really insightful blog posts on the network, so thank you if you've ever written one, there's lots to explore. 

Top 5 Blog Posts from 2020

We have put together a list of the most read blog posts from 2020:
  1. Black Lives Matter - Important Information and Resources
  2. Report: How COVID-19 has affected youth music making
  3. Inclusive Practice in Music Education Hubs
  4. Decolonising the Music Curriculum
  5. Asian Dub Foundation And Stewart Lee - ‘Comin’ Over Here’ Set For Brexit Number 1?
Photo from YES Brixham
Jobs & Opportunities
Image from Mind The Gap

Jobs and Opportunities

CPD, Training & Events
Full job listings and event listings can be viewed on the YMN. For any opportunities specifically targeted towards young people, please post them on the Youth Music Opportunities page. We encourage sharing round our bi-weekly Next Gen newsletter sign up for the latest opportunities.
AMIE Updates & Resources
AMIE is the Alliance for a Musically Inclusive England. 
A protest for inclusion, staged at our We All Make Music event
Staff in the Spotlight!

This month's Staff in the Spotlight features our Research and Evaluation Officer Remi, who joined Youth Music two weeks before the March lock-down. Below in an extract and the full link is below. Questions were asked by Katy Robinson. 

Tell us a bit about yourself and what you do at Youth Music.

I'm a Research and Evaluation Officer, I collect and analyse data that measures our impact as a funder and the projects that we fund. Part of the Research and Evaluation Team, we use evaluation to support evidence-led decision making that champions inclusivity and challenges barriers to participation. Our approach to cross-team working is...

You started at Youth Music two weeks before we transitioned into working from home. How have you found starting a brand new job remotely, and do you have any advice for people in similar situations?

I'd not even brought in a cactus for me desk yet...It's an intense experience to join a new team and adapt to a new working style simultaneously and I would advise not to resist your working behaviour changing, roll with it...

Tell us about what drew you to working in research, and what prompted your interest in Youth Music.

Whilst studying my English Literature degree, I thoroughly enjoyed the process of 'reading between the lines', examining the voice and identifying a person's intention and message through different forms of expression. Whilst not directly linked (which it doesn't necessarily need to be), I then worked in...

Are you involved in making music of your own? Who are your biggest musical inspirations?

I'm grateful to have been brought up in a musical family. From an early age my grandad has sang along to B.B King on his vinyl player and belted out Jamaican gospel at whatever time of the day. I've been in various...

Alongside music, you have another pretty big passion...tell us about your bikes and what you were doing before Youth Music. 

Where do I start? Motorcycling is one of those hobbies where it might look intimidating from the outside, but once you give it a go, you'll realise it's not just for bearded men in tight leather waistcoats on Route 66. Before YM I worked in research for a...

What's been the highlight of your time at Youth Music so far? What are you most looking forward to in 2021?

There's been loads! The ongoing support within our team throughout last year has been astonishing. We've collectively accomplished so much to be proud of, from setting up the Emergency Fund earlier in the year to publishing research, including Reshape Music and A Blueprint for the Future which explore the compounding barriers young people face in the industry and present a call to action. Most recently...

Read Full Interview
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