Supporting your students, supporting you

For over 20 years, we’ve supported talented young people from low-income families, helping them to overcome financial and social barriers. Whatever the genre, whatever the style, our strategically-targeted programmes help young musicians from across the UK to grow, flourish and fulfill their musical potential.

Alongside our programmes of direct support for young musicians, outlined below, we use our independent role in the music education sector to become a thought leader in talent development. We've developed training programmes and free resources for music teachers and music leaders.  You can explore these here and in our News and Resources section.

Support for your students

Trumpet Awards

Annual Awards programme

Our Awards programme offers up to £100,000 in means-tested grants each year, helping young musicians grow and develop their musical potential.  This programme is aimed at young musicians demonstrating exceptional talent and potential.  Having taken formal exams is not a pre-requisite and thus there is no minimum grade level; however we suggest that you only recommend students apply for this fund if they have made significant progress on their musical journey already and are demonstrating exceptional potential. This programme is not aimed at beginner level players.

Music leaders and teachers can support a young musician in applying for funding of up to £2,000 by completing a supporting recommendation.

Full information about this programme

Furthering Talent programme

Furthering Talent is designed to help musical young people from low income families from the moment the first sparks of potential appear.  Everyone selected for the programme receives weekly instrumental tuition for a minimum of two academic years, as well as wider help for their musical progression in the form of an Individual Learning Plan.

With support from Youth Music we currently run this programme in partnership with the following Music Education Hubs: Bradford, Brighton and Hove, Greater Manchester, Hull North West Midlands, Nottinghamshire, Leicestershire and Sheffield. Manchester City and Wiltshire will be joining the programme soon.

If you would like to find out whether a young musician you know could benefit from this programme, please contact our Programme Manager Neil Phillips,  07711 953866.


Full information about this programme
Facets of musical potential

Support for you

In our independent role we've brought together some of the most innovative and creative minds around to look at issue facing young musicians from low-income families. Through this work we've developed and deliver training and CPD for teachers and music leaders.  Click below for an overview. Visit our Innovation and Research section for full information.

Identifying Talent training

Identifying Talent training explores practical ways of spotting talent when working with a whole class or group and ensuring all your children benefit. The training includes trying out some of the musical activities we've discovered are really effective and giving you some planning ideas too. The training also includes looking at examples from film resources and discussing new approaches to supporting musical progression as well.

We are currently working to expand our offer by training more facilitators to run this training.  If you would be interested in knowing more or booking training in your school, music service or Hub, please contact our Programme Manager, [email protected].

Full information about this training

Practical Progression

With support from Youth Music, we are currently piloting Practical Progression, developed by musical leaders, for music leaders. It aims to build on music leaders’ existing tool kit, whatever setting they are working in. The training will look at different ways to support young people to overcome barriers to their music making.  An accompanying film series, also called Practical Progression is already available. More information about the training model will be available soon.

Watch the accomanying film series

Workshops and presentations

We regularly deliver bespoke workshops and presentations on the topics of identifying musical talent and supporting musical progression at music education conferences and training days. For more information and to request a workshop or presentation at your event please contact our Chief Executive, Hester Cockcroft: [email protected], T. 0117 904 9906

Resources for you

We have developed a number of free resources for teachers as part of Innovation and Research.  You can browse these below and via our News and Resources page.

Attend our free online Identifying Musical Talent and Potential training session!

On Thursday 25 April we’re hosting an online introductory session to our acclaimed Identifying Musical…

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Become an AYM Music Hub partner!

We’re searching for 10 new Music Hub partners to join the next phase of our…

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Young Sounds UK hosts mentor training weekend for young music leaders

On the last weekend of September 2023, we ran a three-day training weekend hosted by…

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Book now: Online Individual Learning Plan CPD session

This December we’re hosting a free introductory session to our Online Individual Learning Plan, a…

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Awards for Young Musicians launches new film series exploring music-based mentoring

Awards for Young Musicians (AYM) has launched a series of filmed resources documenting its successful…

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The music-based mentoring process

In this final blog to accompany AYM’s new Talent to Talent film resources, we explore…

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What is Talent to Talent?

Talent to Talent is AYM’s music-based mentoring programme which combines peer mentoring opportunities with creative…

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What is music-based mentoring?

Mentoring is the exchange of ideas, advice or guidance between two people, one of whom…

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Common themes in a successful mentoring environment

The key aspects of a successful mentoring environment identified through the programme included facilitating a…

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Awards for Young Musicians receives Arts Council funding to support thousands of teachers in England

We’re excited to announce that Awards for Young Musicians (AYM) has received substantial funding from…

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Q & A with our newest Alumni Patron: jazz pianist Deschanel Gordon

Born in Hackney, Deschanel was supported through Furthering Talent from 2009 until 2013. We funded his jazz piano…

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Personalised learning in the digital world

Awards for Young Musicians and Charanga are developing a powerful online tool to support young…

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Alpesh Chauhan talks all things conducting

Alpesh Chauhan joined our team of AYM Patrons in 2019. During lockdown he’s been chatting with…

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Furthering Talent’s impact in one school

Photograph (c) Edward Webb A school in the North of England was going through special…

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Online resources for music leaders

We’ve compiled a list of resources from organisations doing fantastic work across the UK in…

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CPD Questionnaire

Are you a music leader or music manager, working in the UK? Please take a…

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Youth Music Opportunities Board

Looking for information about jobs, training, funding, events, resources, networking, performance opportunities and more? Youth…

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Practical Progression film series

Practical Progression is a film series, made by music leaders, for music leaders from any…

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Search for music services and music education providers near you

If you are looking for information about what music education opportunities are available in your…

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Working with Youth Music to develop ‘Identifying Talent’

In 2008, with support from Youth Music we initiated an action research programme looking at…

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Common barriers for musical progression journeys poster

This poster was developed in partnership with Ben Sandbrook of World Pencil as part of…

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Musical Progressions Roundtable

2009 – 2014 Advocating for the musical needs of young people across the sector has…

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