Sony Music funds music education programmes
A three-year Young Artists Saturday Programme, aimed at aspiring artists and pop musicians from the North West, and a programme to expand instrument and music teaching provision in Birmingham, Manchester and Newcastle are the latest beneficiaries of Sony Music’s Global Social Justice Fund.
The Young Artists Saturday Programme, run by the Royal Northern College of Music in Manchester, will focus on children aged 11-18 from under-served communities and will offer both subsidised places and travel bursaries for selected recipients. The programme expands on RNCM’s work to develop world-class artists and creative practitioners who can help drive the music industry forward in a relevant and inclusive way.
A grant is also awarded to music education charity Restore The Music UK, enabling a three-year nationwide expansion of their Capital Grants for Schools programme and launching in Birmingham, Greater Manchester and Newcastle. The programme offers tailored grants for instruments, equipment and teacher training to primary and secondary schools, targeted at schools with above-average Free School Meals and Pupil Premium percentages. The regional expansion will reach a broader range of pupils, enhancing music within the curriculum and helping to unlock creativity to offer students all the benefits of an education in the arts.
The two new grants are the latest commitment from Sony Music’s UK Social Justice Fund, part of Sony’s global commitment to support anti-racist initiatives and educational opportunities in under-served communities.
“This is a hugely exciting new programme that will support and inspire the next generation of musicians, songwriters and producers in the region,” said Professor Linda Merrick, Principal at Royal Northern College of Music. “I am looking forward to seeing this initiative develop and to welcoming lots of young people to the RNCM as they take the next steps on their musical journey. We know that there is incredible talent right on our doorstep, and RNCM Young Artists will provide the very best training, mentorship, and music-making opportunities to help them achieve their dreams.”
Polly Moore, CEO, Restore The Music UK said, “Raising the status of music and making provision diverse and accessible means we can help young people build a wider skill set and gain access, which is vital if we want to improve social cohesion and social mobility. Receiving this funding is a huge acknowledgement of the need for investment in young people.”
As of this month, the second anniversary of Sony’s Global Social Justice Fund, more than 400 organisations have received funding worldwide. This round of UK funding, focused on broadening access to music education, compliments the grants already distributed to organisations focused on education, skills and pathways into the music industry, community engagement and criminal justice reform. The UK arm of the Social Justice Fund has awarded more than £1.5 million in funding across 18 grantees since launch.
Beneficiaries are chosen by a diverse advisory board of employees representing labels and divisions across Sony Music Entertainment UK and organisations are supported by a social impact team that works with the charities to track the impact of SJF funding.