Mapping Hidden Talent: Investigating youth music projects


National Youth Agency

Richard Ings, Ruth Jones, Nick Randell
(1998) Leicester: National Youth Agency, 93 pages, ISBN 0-86155-191-5, £9.50


Mapping Hidden Talent: Investigating youth music projects

To identify and map popular music projects for young people throughout the United Kingdom. The report aims to provide an overview of the sector; raise awareness of the work of such projects; document their activities, ambitions and achievements; assess the impact of such projects and their value for young people; and identify examples of innovative and effective practice.

Desk research; field research; telephone and face to face interviews with key organisations; project visits; mailings requesting contact details of appropriate projects to organisations, networking agencies and umbrella bodies throughout the UK; publicity mailed to a wide range of relevant press and media outlets inviting groups to respond directly. A database of 1,045 was created as a result. Contacts were sent a brief outline of the study and its terms of reference, 346 reply-paid postcards were returned. Questionnaires were then sent out and 198 were returned.

Preface; Taking our bearings; Charting the territory; News from no-man's-land; New directions; Case studies; Appendices.

This report charts the routes by which large numbers of young people, who might not otherwise have the support or resources, get involved in music. It highlights the success of youth music projects in reaching disaffected young people and reveals the impact that their work has on the development of vital social skills. It challenges the arts funding system, the music industry and youth work agencies to give full recognition to the importance of youth music projects as a source of energy, new talent and as a vital part of British culture. Part 1 presents the background and general purpose of the report. Part 2 charts the distinguishing features of youth music projects; finding out what's out there, in terms of supply and demand; how it operates and on what basis. Part 3 presents a broad account of the achievements of youth music projects, exploring their agendas, and placing them in the context of other sectors. Part 4 sums up the achievements of youth music projects across the UK and draws out some broad conclusions about the current situation they find themselves in. The remainder of the report presents eight representative case studies.

National Youth Agency, 17 - 23 Albion Street, Leicester LE1 6GD, UK Tel: 44 (0)116 285 6789 Fax: 44 (0)116 247 1043