"When a music leader listens to my opinion, I feel like I'm valued. You feel like you belong there."

– Chloe, Creative Academies



Youth voice and participation, ‘youth voice’ for short, is when young people influence how an organisation or project is run.

Examples are when young people and children…

  • …make decisions
  • …shape sessions
  • …undertake leadership roles
  • …give feedback that’s acted upon


Amplifying young voices equalises access to music making, learning and earning. And it doesn’t have to be costly or complicated. Young people are the leaders, changemakers and influencers of the future. Put them centre-stage and you’ll soon see the benefits.

Young people will….
  • Feel empowered and heard, in a society that often disregards their views
  • Be part of music projects fit for their ever-changing world
  • Develop their confidence, communication and activism skills
Your organisation will….
  • Be more relevant for young people and have a bigger impact on their lives
  • Develop new skills and insight, boosting staff morale
  • Improve its credibility, and access to funding
Photo from Gem Arts by annamillerart

Did you know youth participation is a fundamental human right? The UN Convention on the Rights of the Child states:

“Every child has the right to express their views, feelings and wishes in all matters affecting them, and to have their views considered and taken seriously.”

Photo from DaDaFest by Brian Roberts


Join our journey to better youth voice by following these five commitments:


Be innovative about how we #ShareThe Mic. Make the process fun!


It’s not about giving up control, it’s about sharing power.


Always act on what we hear and learn.


Share how we’ve acted on what we’ve heard.


Give all ages and abilities a platform to get involved.

Photo from Action on Disability
"Organisations have the key to unlock the power and the resources to bring out the best in young people."

– Aicha, Positive Youth Foundation


Are you inspired to accelerate your youth voice journey?

Check out the useful resources below.

Youth voice - the basics

What youth voice looks like in practice and why it's important.

Tips from young people

Want to know what young people have to say on youth voice and participation? These resources will help!

Youth voice in the early years

Nobody’s too young to have their voice heard. Find out how to engage 0-5 year olds.

Photos from Groundswell Arts by Rachel Bywater
Youth voice in research & evaluation

Wondering how to incorporate youth voice into research and evaluation?

Youth voice consultation workshops

Youth Music partnered with three projects to deliver a series of consultation workshops for younger groups. Here’s what we learned:

And here are the session plans as inspiration to borrow from and adapt for groups you work with.

Youth engagement equaliser

Sound Connections developed ‘The Equaliser’ tool to help everyone take steps on their youth voice journey - from beginners to experts.

Photo from NYMAZ
Youth voice & participation handbook

The definitive guide to youth voice and participation for the creative and cultural sector from Sound Connections.

How to showcase young people's music

A practical guide on how to showcase young people’s music and talents through youth-led events from Lincolnshire One Venues.

Young trustees movement

A movement to change charity boards by doubling the number of young trustees by 2024 from the Young Trustees Movement.

Photo from MAC Makes Music
Youth voice training & further resources

Even more training and resources on youth voice and participation.

Lewisham Music - A focus on Youth Voice

An IDEA (Inclusion, Diversity, Equity & Accessibility) Case Study from Lewisham Music.

A free online Introduction to Youth Voice course from Upstart Projects.
Videos from Youth Music Empower Hour sessions
Youth voice for Music Education Hubs

A toolkit designed for Music Education Hubs from MAC Birmingham

Youth Music quality framework

A tool to help plan and evaluate your young person centred activities.

Youth Music funding

If you apply for funding from Youth Music, you'll be asked to show how your project has been or will be co-designed with children and young people.