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Musical Youth: Exploring Youth Music and Cultural Entrepreneurship
Barry Lennon is the Director of Youth Work Ireland’s youth music educational programme, the Irish Youth Music Awards, and is the project manager for their Erasmus+ KA2 project. The project will design an online toolkit for those looking to use music as a tool to engage and retain young people in youth services while creating pathways to employment, education and enterprise.
Our Erasmus+ project is called Youth Music and Cultural Entrepreneurship. This project involves six European partners: UK Youth, Youth CYMRU (Wales), Samfés (Iceland), Youth Scotland, Lithuanian Children and Youth Centre and Youth Action Northern Ireland. Our organisation, Youth Work Ireland, is the lead partner.
We designed the project to build on the work we've been doing as an organisation through our Irish Youth Music Awards Programme, and to work collaboratively with partners around the work they do in the field of youth music. Through the preparation stages of the project we developed a framework to analyse and review our existing projects. In order to feed this information into the toolkit design, the main areas that emerged are education, employment, enterprise and youth work practice.
In May this year we hosted our first project 'multiplier' event to act as a showcase, networking and learning event. We hosted the event in Wood Quay Venue, Dublin to a full auditorium with a wide range of participants from all over Europe, as well as those working directly in youth music education, youth services and with young people here in Ireland. The event featured presentations on the use of music by each of the project partners, looking at their practice, with each partner focusing on just one of the project headings: education, enterprise, employment and youth work practice.
After each presentation we invited the audience to ask questions of the panellists, and we had a longer time at the end of all the presentations for feedback and questions.
The most memorable piece was when the roving mic was handed to Jay from Ground Floor Project in the YMCA in Cork, who performed an impromptu rap inspired by the event:
At the end of the presentations and discussions, we asked the audience members to give us feedback on printed posters at the back of the room. As well as feedback on what they'd heard that morning, we also asked them to let us know about any other areas they wished us to analyse. This helped feed into the project scope and acted as a way for those in attendance to engage with the project.
If people wish to learn more about the project they can like our Facebook page here and join the conversation by using #ka2youthmusic.
You can read the edition of Scene we co-released as part of our first multiplier event here. This edition was an outcome of our initial research into each of the partner youth music projects and is a great snapshot of some of the exciting youth music projects and programmes currently running in Europe.
The project will run for 27 months and we will be hosting our next multiplier event later this year in Belfast.
Images: Rachel Maher for Youth Work Ireland. We welcome contributions to 'Insights' at firstname.lastname@example.org.