The Music for Youth Festival and Arts Award

The Music for Youth Festival and Arts Award

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BY: Guest Writer
07 Feb 2024

We catch up with Louise, Programme Coordinator at Music for Youth (MFY), about the Music for Youth Festival 2024 and how offering Arts Award, alongside your MFY Festival journey, can enhance the creative experience for the young musicians and music teachers taking part.

The Music for Youth Festival  is a collection of regional festivals across the UK, uniting to inspire musicians at every level of experience and across every genre of music. These regional events – taking place this year in March - form the UK’s largest festival for young musicians. 30,000 musicians take part every year and many go on to perform again at the MFY National Festival  in Birmingham and Music for Youth Proms at the Royal Albert Hall, London.   

To provide the opportunity for this many children and young people to embark on the Music for Youth 2024 season takes a strong community of music educators from a range of schools, community groups and music education hubs. We are very lucky to have so many wonderful music teachers who really understand the value of live performance. 

One of the main benefits I see in running Arts Award alongside participating in the Music for Youth Festivals, is that Arts Award celebrates the hard work and effort the children and young people put into rehearsing and perfecting their performances. 

One of our core values at Music for Youth is inclusivity. Enabling children and young people of any musical genre, age range, and ability, to have the chance to participate in high-quality music activities. Completing Arts Award through the MFY Festival journey, means that every child or young person taking part gets to achieve a national qualification which recognises their involvement in music, accredited by Trinity College London. I think that really embodies our value of being as inclusive as possible.

However, it’s not just about the performance. With Arts Award, the value of understanding the world of music from a wider perspective is also championed. From the initial Explore and Discover levels of Arts Award, where the children and young people can research music artists they are interested in (or who teach them); right up to the higher Bronze and Silver levels of the award, where participating in the MFY Festival has the potential to inspire them. 

Here at Music for Youth we recognise the role we play in the national picture of music education. Wherever possible, using our voice to advocate for the music teachers who work so hard to produce the amazing musical performances which we see time and again on our festival stages across the country. 

To support busy music educators, as part of our partnership, Trinity has created a bespoke Arts Award, Music for Youth, Discover template. Which, in an easy to use, step-by-step format, teachers and pupils can complete in, and around, their participation in the MFY Festival. 

I have found that using Arts Award, alongside participating in the Music for Youth Festivals, can help to bring prominence to the culture of music our teachers work hard to develop. Celebrating a commitment to enrichment and live performance.  

Publicising the reward of a national qualification to the students for completing the Arts Award, can also help build meaningful engagement from parents. Setting some of the tasks as home learning and sharing the positive evaluations they will produce about their experience at the MFY Festival, really helps to get parents and school leaders on board.

If you are thinking about delivering Arts Award alongside your participation in the MFY Festival, our partnership with Trinity affords you a special discounted rate.  
The discounts available are: 
Arts Award Discover certificate fee: £3.05 (instead of £4.70) per young person 
Arts Award Explore qualification fee: £11.50 (instead of £16.00) per young person 
Bronze Arts Award qualification fee: £20.50 (instead of £27.00) per young person. 
Please click here for more information including steps to obtain the discount. 

There are plenty of ways to get involved with Music for Youth’s season of events! You can sign up for Mentor Connects, the online strand of our Music for Youth Festival 2024. If you’d like to join over 12,000 young musicians from across the UK, come and join us at the National Festival in Birmingham in July. There will be performance opportunities, workshops and talks with Primary Live, a special interactive concert for primary school children.

And if you’re really looking for a memorable experience, don’t miss out on the opportunity to be part of the Creative Project Massed Ensemble at the renowned Music for Youth Proms in November, held at the Royal Albert Hall in London.

To learn more about Music for Youth and how you can get involved, visit


Image: National Festival 2022, credit Alick Cotterill

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