Young Musicians Workshop (‘YMW’) was formed in September 2017 by a small group of private music and performance teachers who wished to give their students the experience of playing to a live audience.
It quickly became clear through the hugely positive feedback from parents/carers that what had begun as an extension to private teaching practice was providing the young musicians, particularly the primary school students, with far more benefits than simply a musical education.
Through playing their instrument live with other musicians the youngsters were clearly gaining in confidence, discipline and patience, learning social skills, facing fears, becoming team players, developing memory skills, and the many other benefits that co-operative live musical performance provides. (Oh, and by the way, they are having fun!)
Due to continuing and increasing cut-backs within state education, musical opportunities within schools have been severely reduced. Consequently, musical education has often become an afterthought, despite overwhelming evidence that music education improves literacy and learning across all subjects, especially in primary schools. With this in mind, YMW opened its doors to all young musicians.
Whilst YMW strongly believes in delivering the highest possible educational opportunities for young musicians, the main focus is to provide a platform for youngsters aged 5 – 17 to perform live in a very supportive workshop environment in front of their friends and family.
In the summer of 2018 YMW approached Chickenshed (www.chickenshed.org.uk) as they had by now outgrown their original venue. Chickenshed offered to host and help expand the workshops. Working together and increasingly closely within what was clearly a shared ethos and belief in the transformative power of the arts, additional projects began to be suggested: providing musical instruments into schools; private teaching for under-privileged young people; and bursaries to Music Schools and Colleges, all funded through philanthropy, patronage, sponsorship and donations to YMW.
YMW forms an important part of a new strand of work for the Chickenshed charity – it sits proudly under the ‘At Chickenshed’ banner, an initiative whereby Chickenshed welcomes and develops groups and projects whose aims chime with Chickenshed’s objectives of giving opportunities to young people, and of building a society where everyone is able to flourish. Therefore all donations and monies for YMW are paid directly to "Chicken Shed Theatre Trust" and processed through Chickenshed's charitable status. The funds are held within their financial system, but ring-fenced exclusively for YMW to use to fund its own specific projects and aims.
To continue its work, YMW must continue to find funding to acquire and maintain its own equipment for the ongoing workshops, as well as to meet our ambitions to provide instruments to schools, to offer music lessons to those who would not otherwise be able to access these opportunities, and ultimately to provide bursaries for under privileged students.
Thank you in anticipation of your generosity and support.