Brass Foundations Project Manifesto

The main aims of the Brass Foundations project are very simply to encourage and support the current provision of brass playing and tuition for young people and work with partners to create more opportunities, and therefore recruit more players into the wonderful world of brass music.

What it categorically isn’t is a top-down approach telling everyone what to do and sweeping aside any of the good work already in place in many bands across the association, and we cannot stress that strongly enough!

We want to be working together with bands, association, tutors, schools, music service, and the Hub partners to get the best provision we can for our young people. We are here to offer support; whether you have a really strong and well functioning youth band/training band/learner band etc, or whether you are struggling a bit for recruitment maybe, or don’t quite have enough youngsters to form an ensemble (but the band down the road might be in the same position), or are just setting out on your youth band adventure!

If you feel your band is going great guns and has a good throughput of players, from beginners up to your senior band, through however many steps your organisation has along the way, then we want to hear how you’ve done it! Success is to be celebrated and, where possible, shared!

If you feel your band is generally doing OK but there are a few gaps in the provision, please let me, Paul McLaughlin, know. These might be in terms of recruitment, music and repertoire, instruments, or organisation. Wherever you feel you might need a bit of support in your work with young players, the Brass Foundations team is here to help.

How have you managed with your young players during these difficult months? Have you had any online sessions, whether playing, social, or a bit of both? Did you try but have not had much success? Would you like to try but are not sure where to start? We are suggesting a new network of youth leaders be created to share ideas, find solutions, and discover the best route to getting as many new young players involved in our world as we can.

There is a Google Form questionnaire available on this subject too, which you can complete here. Read more about it here.

We are also looking into holding more regional forum type events, inviting all local partners, e.g. bands, music services, Hubs, schools, other musical organisations. Please let me know if you would be interested in taking part. These will be for anyone with an interest in encouraging young players, not just those who already have a youth/training/junior section in their band.

Our remit as a Youth Development team is:

  • To foster relationships with cultural organisations, schools, and Music Education Hubs to support and extend the opportunities for young people to play brass music

  • To support musical organisations to keep their youth members engaged through the pandemic’s restrictions by providing support and resources where needed

  • To deliver online activity directly to youth band leaders and to youth bands as well as to brand new players, or young people who may have had a little taster, e.g. in school whole class sessions

  • To facilitate local bands and the local Association to invigorate their own youth programmes, enhancing or creating opportunities.

  • To support Music Education Hubs in providing broad brass provision in the local area

  • To promote the recruitment and coaching of new brass players, and to guide them to existing provision or ensembles or newly created ensembles within the Hub or local community

  • To act as a direct conduit between partner organisations, ultimately representing and feeding into our member bands.

Please get in touch directly if you have any questions or suggestions.

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