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Youth Music launches £1.5mn fund dedicated to early years creativity

Melanie May | 2 April 2024 | News

Pre-school age children playing with musical instruments – a picture from Youth Music

Youth Music’s £1.5million Energiser Fund is open to early years experts, leaders and innovators, providing them with the opportunity to work collaboratively with the charity to shift the dial in the perception and practice of creativity in 2-4-year-olds.

The announcement comes with research by the charity that suggests 47% of parents believe that nursery rhyme lyrics need to be updated, and that 45% say their children enjoy other genres, including pop, rock, hip-hop, and rap. The research also found that 77% of the parents surveyed believe it is important children listen to a diverse range of music types. 

As well as receiving grants, the 10 selected organisations will benefit from a programme in which they can learn from other industry changemakers. Throughout the process, the projects will explore co-design and participation with young children and lead by example to help ensure practices are adopted by other Early Years practitioners nationwide.


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Energiser Funded Partners will receive:

The Youth Music Energiser Fund was announced last week and will remain open for applications until this Friday 5 April. Interviews will take place in May and June, with successful applicants notified in July 2024.

Matt Griffiths, Youth Music CEO, said:

“It’s clear that music plays an important role in nurturing the creativity of pre-schoolers, and although important, the tried and tested route is no longer resonating with early years parents and their children. With current policies doing a disservice to children’s creative growth, Youth Music, along with the incredible talent we hope to onboard through the Energiser Fund, will lead the charge in reimagining creativity in early years education, calling others to pay attention to and nurture the creativity of these young people.”

Commenting, Dr Helen Lyndon, Senior Research Fellow & Postgraduate Programme Lead at CREC, said:

“We know that children are capable and confident and creative, but the opportunities to be creative have somewhat diminished. As a sector we have nurseries closing, we have a lack of funding for an arts-based approach.


“Engaging in practitioner research is one of the most powerful things that you can do to actually impact the children that you are working with. Practitioners are the experts in their environment, so they are best placed to undertake this meaningful piece of activity that will positively impact children’s creative experiences in early years settings.”