Young People Strand

Projects benefitting young people age 6-25 years old. Our projects help to nurture artistic talent and progression in areas and musical genres where opportunities may be limited. Our work here can include providing opportunities for disadvantaged young people, those facing challenging circumstances, and young people who are gifted and talented who otherwise might not have the opportunity to progress. The majority of our work in this strand is community based and delivered in the informal sector (e.g., not in educational settings), enabling us to reach young people who might not engage in traditional music education.
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Current projects:


Interface: Into music tech – software/hardware? Make your own tracks or beats? Or are you a DJ/ MC working with live samples, or an instrumentalist/vocalist using loop pedals? Our new Interface project is a great opportunity for you to collaborate with others to form a new group that’s a bit different & quirky and, at the same time, to use your skills to develop as a young music leader.


Due to the pandemic, Interface will now run from September 2021 until end March 2022, focused on creating & rehearsing new music. The weekly sessions will take place on Monday evenings in term time, 6.30-8.30pm, with some full Saturdays where guest artists will run performance workshops. At the end of the project the group will share the work created through 5 performances in different youth settings around Birmingham.


Recruiting soon! We will soon be recruiting for the first 5 places on Interface, for young people aged 18-25 years old who we are hoping will not only take part in the project as participants but who might also be interested developing and training as young music leaders. These roles will be paid and we will also be offering an optional bursary through the project for completion of our newly validated Level 4 Certificate for Music Educators qualification through our New Horizons programme (a value of c £2000). We are particularly keen to hear from people from Black or Asian backgrounds &/or those identifying as having a disability, to help address areas of under representation in our young emerging workforce. Please keep an eye out on our opportunities page for more details in due course. We will be recruiting younger project participants in September 2021.


Interface is supported by Youth Music and the Birmingham Music Education Partnership.


Wavelength: working in partnership with Birmingham and Solihull Mental Health NHS Foundation Trust (BSMHFT) and Birmingham Children's Hospital (BCH), Wavelength provides music making opportunities for young people aged 12-18 referred across mental health services in Birmingham and Solihull, from early detection and intervention services through to acute and forensic services. Through one-to-one creative songwriting input leading to supported group activity and performance, the project provides a supportive social network and builds musical and emotional literacy, resilience, confidence as well as a range of transferable skills - all key to the development of social esteem, acceptance and recovery. We are delighted to be continuing Wavelength until December 2021 thanks to support from BBC Children In Need, the Grantham Yorke Trust, the Clive and Sylvia Richards Charity and the Birmingham Music Education Partnership. We are now accepting referrals for young people aged 12-18 with mental health conditions.

Currently recruiting! We have 20 places available per year. A simple application form can be downloaded on our opportunities page.


We are incredibly grateful for the support Youth Music gave us in 2015 for the original 3 year pilot programme. You can see our blogs about this phase of Wavelength on the Youth Music Network here.  Also, please see our Wavelength 'on demand' online seminar content here, launched on World Mental Health Day, 10th October 2018. 

Plugin - in December 2018 we were awarded a significant 3 year grant from Youth Music for a new mental health programme called Plugin, based in 5 inpatient settings across Birmingham. Plugin focuses on using accessible music technology to create new songs and music. Plugin has a professional development element to the project and we have appointed a Young Assistant Project Coordinator for the duration of the project, plus 3 Young Music Leaders for the first year of delivery. These emerging music facilitators benefit from mentoring from our experienced lead artists and training to work in the mental health sector. Plugin activity commenced in February 2019, benefiting young inpatients aged between 12-25 years of age at Birmingham Children's Hospital Parkview Clinic, at Ardenleigh FCAMHS/Adriatic ward, at Woodbourne Priory Hospital, at Tamarind/Reaside Clinic and at Forward Thinking Birmingham’s Blakesley Centre.


SongLab Partnership: Working in partnership with The SongLab and Birmingham Music Education Partnership, this activity enables us to support and develop young musicians’ progression in the area of popular and contemporary musical styles through masterclasses and workshops, building awareness of the wider music industry. Please also see our Training Strand for more information.

Past projects:


Sense Project: Over the 2019 summer holiday, Quench Arts is providing music activities as part of Sense’s holiday scheme provision for young people with disabilities. We are also working with Sense to help develop music activity as part of their residential offer.

Reaching Out: Working in partnership with Birmingham Music Education Partnership and MAC Makes Music, this programme included training and workshop delivery to better engage young people from ethnic minority and/or newly arrived communities who were disengaged or experiencing barriers to ensemble music making. Reaching Out involved recruiting and then developing the facilitation and ensemble performance skills of musicians living in Birmingham, from a range of folk/world traditions, around music making with children and young people in traditional folk/world music. Following training, a series of workshops were delivered in 3 schools, Aston Manor Academy, George Dixon and The International School, leading to a celebratory performance at mac Birmingham which was a fantastic success.


Base Studios’ The Junction, Base Bands, Based Out and Mix It Up Projects: Since our formation in 2012, we have had a partnership relationship with Base Studios, based in Stourbridge, Dudley, to help develop their offer to better engage young people in using their fantastic facilities. This has involved Quench Arts assisting in developing, fundraising, coordinating and evaluating programmes of activity. Projects have largely focused on band development and audience development activities, supporting the progression of young musicians by enabling them to meet and rehearse with others, and training young music leaders in the area. For more information please see our Quenchology Strand.