The Heart of the Matter: Plans and Partnerships
Last month, we talked in depth about how we start our plans by looking back over the last year at what has worked well and what could have been better; casting a critical eye to ensure that our existing work has a clear legacy and that the quality of our projects remains high or gets even better.
We can now put together a new set of overall objectives for the coming year, as well as a more detailed plan for delivery, making sure to keep in line with the values of the company.
So, folks… the Heart of the Matter this month is (drum roll): Plans and Partnerships
In order for Yorkshire Youth & Music to produce a new list of ‘priority targets’ for the coming year (a summary of the aims we want to tackle through music as a medium), we talk about the projects that we would like to continue going forwards and the new ideas we’d like to get off the ground. Typically, we have a rolling programme of established work that runs alongside any brand new projects and ideas, in order for the company to continue the work we do, year on year.
We’ve already talked a little bit about how ideas for projects come about in July’s Heart of the Matter. Briefly, we are either approached by an organisation or a school with a problem to solve (not necessarily a musical one), a talented colleague might have an idea that they would like us to help facilitate, or our own Director (and / or other staff members) spot gaps in the education sector as a whole that can be ‘filled’ in a different way, through projects that involve music or additional art forms.
For every single project we run, we are either approached by an individual or an organisation to form a partnership, or we initiate these partnerships ourselves. Once we have identified what the underlying issues (or barriers) are (for children to access a better standard of education), we can then talk to our partners about the ways in which we can use music, or the ways in which we can facilitate access TO the project itself, in order to remove these barriers. Proficiency in music is often not our ultimate goal, but music, arts and technology are the tools we use to make a better quality of education (and a better quality of life in some cases) more accessible to the young people involved. For example, children in a given region might not be able to afford to get to our after school musical activity, so as well as running the project, we also look at how we provide transport to and from the project (and how that can continue once the initial money runs out). We can only do these kinds of things by talking to other organisations and changing the status quo, through partnership.
We know from experience that, in order for the goals from projects to become embedded within ‘normal’ practice in the wider education sector, we have to work in full co-operation with the people who work directly with the children we come into contact with, on a regular basis. The ultimate aim for all of our projects is that we address a need or solve a problem with practice that can eventually become part of the ‘everyday’, where the musical work we have been doing becomes an integral part of any organisation’s regular day to day, supported by their own staff members. We can only do this by forming a true partnership, where all those involved are committed to this ultimate goal. Here at YY&M, we are proud to say that most, if not all, of our projects achieve this in some way.
We’re busy at the moment putting plans together for 2020 and we’re excited to share these plans with you very soon…!
YY&M creates music education projects for children and young people in a variety of complex and severely challenging circumstances. In order to provide meaningful musical experiences for these young people, we make decisions that get to the heart of both their needs and what makes a good musical project. We want to share the hows and whys with YOU, our readers, in a new feature on our website (and our bulletin) called ‘Heart of the Matter‘. Each month over the course of 2019, we will reveal how each of our projects get to the real heart of what music education means to us.