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 Arts Council funded Talent to Talent mentoring programme.

The series is a resource for music leaders, designed as an introduction to music-based mentoring. Each of the five films explores a different theme:

  1. What is music-based mentoring?
  2. Why is music-based mentoring important?
  3. Developing skills and confidence in mentors
  4. Common themes in a successful mentoring environment
  5. The music-based mentoring process

Talent to Talent is a peer mentoring programme delivered by AYM. The aim was to enable young musicians to take the lead and discover more about their musical selves through sharing experiences with a mentor or mentee at a different stage in their musical development.

The programme, the first phase of which took place in 2016, was facilitated by expert partners Ben Sandbrook of World Pencil and double bassist Paul Sherman. In 2021 it was managed by Programme Manager Naomi Wellings and run in partnership with Music Education Hubs in Sheffield, Nottinghamshire, Hull and Leicestershire, and with input from AYM Alumna and Patron Jess Gillam. The programme brought together young musicians supported by AYM, together with alumni and early-career musicians from each of the hubs.

The new film series outlines AYM’s music-based mentoring model, why it was developed, and how AYM trained the mentors and created an environment and process to foster peer mentoring opportunities.

“The Talent to Talent approach is so powerful for everyone participating. There is huge value in enabling a non-hierarchical creative space, where all young musicians, regardless of age or stage, can share their musical ideas and experiences. Everyone involved has learned so much and we’re really looking forward to taking this learning into our future mentoring work with young musicians.”

AYM Chief Executive Hester Cockcroft

“One of the most understated parts of mentoring is learning from the mentee, as well as the mentee learning from the mentor. We can learn an awful lot from musicians who are earlier in their journeys because they are experiencing music in a completely different way to the way we did. It’s very much a collaborative process.”

Talent to Talent Mentor James Curgenven

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