BCP and Beyond

  • How can our music education work reach more young people?
  • How do we involve more young people with special education needs, or disabilities, in our ensembles and other projects?
  • What are the obstacles that make it difficult for certain young people to access music?
  • Are there certain ethnic or other demographic groups that we are not engaging with enough at the moment?
  • Which styles of music should we be teaching to appeal to a completely new group of young people?
  • What new skills do we need to equip our staff with in order to reach more young people in challenging circumstances?

These are some of the questions our new Fund B Youth Music project, which we were awarded earlier this year, seeks to address. We will be developing at least 4 new strands of work that seek to reach out to young people that are not currently engaging with the Music education Hub offer.

We are also keen to hear your ideas: if you have particular thoughts, please do get in touch via info@soundstorm-music.org.uk

Below is a summary of how the project will shape up.


The first stage of our programme is to develop a new Strategy for Musical Inclusion for the Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole (BCP) Music Education Hub, which SoundStorm leads. This will identify obstacles to participation for certain groups of young people, and recommend areas where we could be doing more.

Through the strategy, we will identify the 4 priority strands around which we can develop new lines of project work targeting priority groups of young people; plus, crucially, new key principles that the Hub will adhere to moving forward. This will impact all of our Music Hub activities moving forward.

The strategy is being developed by external consultant Dr. Phil Mullen, a highly respected authority in this area – Phil will interview SoundStorm staff and the Hub’s numerous stakeholders to come up with recommendations for the new Strategy.

Consultations and research are ongoing (summer 2020) with an initial draft due to be completed this October. It should be ready to be published by the end of the calendar year. CPD for staff and practitioners will follow, to embed the recommendations across everything we do. An action plan arising from the strategy will focus on areas of practical work and activities.


Once the Strategy is complete, practical areas of work will follow in 2021-22. These are some areas we have already identified for new project work, but these could change, dependent on what Dr. Mullen finds during his research:

  • EARLY YEARS: Developing capacity and skills amongst staff in the Early Years sector, backed up by pilot musician-in-residence schemes around child-led learning
  • INCLUSIVE, CREATIVE ENSEMBLES: Development of a new inclusive, creative ensemble(s) for the Hub, actively targeting young people currently not engaged, and open to all abilities and genres.
  • YOUTH CENTRES: Developing capacity and skills amongst staff in Youth Centres, bringing back into use much of the equipment not currently being used, and enabling participation of non-engaged young people through these centres. Developing teaching in contemporary genres.
  • WELLBEING AND LIFE SKILLS: Targeted composition and wellbeing sessions for young people outside of the mainstream education sector (e.g. excluded young people, young people not in education, employment or training (NEETS), children in care), with clear progression routes onwards, utilising contemporary music genres.

The project work will take place over an 18 month period starting in spring 2021.


Findings from all 4 strands will be shared at the conclusion of each project, online, in blogs, via the website, through networks, and via conferences/sharing sessions. We want our findings to have a positive impact as widely as possible.

Keep checking back here, as this page will be updated as the project progresses.

We are working with a number of partners on the project, including Dr. Phil Mullen, Dorset Music Hub, DAISI, YMCA, Absolute Music Trust, BCP Council Early Years team, and more.

We are extremely grateful to Youth Music and BCP Council for funding the project.


Phone + 01202 123012
Email + info@soundstorm-music.org.uk
c/o Absolute Music
3-5 Knighton Heath Estate
855 Ringwood Road
Bournemouth, Dorset
BH11 8NE


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