Arts Council publishes Youth Music Strategy and Action Plan

8th March, 2022

The Arts Council of Northern Ireland today published its Strategy and 5-year Action Plan for the development of Youth Music in Northern Ireland. The strategy, produced by a co-design group representing the youth music ecosystem, establishes the Arts Council’s priorities over the next five-year period. Priorities include:

Blue background with white text 'Arts Council of Northern Ireland Youth Music Audit for Northern Ireland'
  • enhancing opportunities for young people of all abilities and backgrounds to engage in music;
  • improving training and career pathways;
  • strengthening the youth music infrastructure;
  • increasing awareness of the impact of music amongst decision makers; and
  • building partnerships and collaborations to improve coordination and support between the various elements of the sector.

An accompanying report identifies a set of complementary recommendations for improving Youth Music provision which fall beyond the scope of the Arts Council as the lead organisation, but which can be addressed effectively through a multi-stakeholder approach involving educational institutions, independent arts organisations, the Arts Council and other partners. Priorities include:

  • strengthening the role of music in delivering the curriculum;
  • upskilling teachers in the use of new technologies in music;
  • increasing opportunities for young disabled musicians embarking on a musical career; and
  • establishing a Music Sector Representative Body with a Youth Music element.

The strategic reports are informed by a major audit commissioned by the Arts Council to establish a comprehensive body of evidence about the current state of Youth Music in Northern Ireland and its developmental needs.

The Arts Council’s Youth Music Strategy and Action Plan lays the foundations for the creation of a musically inclusive Northern Ireland where every child or young person has the opportunity to engage in music and to access the appropriate support to develop their talent.