Music Makes Lives Better Because… it can be a vehicle for communication YY&M is committed to helping young people from all kinds of backgrounds (and in all kinds of situations) to express themselves and to communicate through music. From making musical instruments – and principles – accessible for D/deaf and hearing impaired (DHI) young people around the region (through projects, guides and online resources), to using music to access and improve a young person’s mental health and stability, to allowing young people in secure settings to find a path to a healthier, happier future, we know that children in any challenging circumstance can have as much benefit (and as much fun) from making music as any other child. We just need to learn how to facilitate a starting point, and go from there... Using music as a vehicle, we have learned, in each child’s case, how to encourage them to express themselves. Firstly through music, but ultimately in other ways too. We have created a range of projects to suit the needs of different sets of Yorkshire-based young people over the years, and we craft each project to allow communication to and from our participants, allowing them to develop their own voice, through music. Music is a powerful tool, and although we are obviously keen for participants to progress in musical terms (learning key elements of music education from our skilled facilitators as they take part in sessions), we mostly use music simply to guide the children we work with towards a greater goal. Some fantastic examples we have seen are: improved confidence, improved mental health and improved life prospects and situations. Music can – and does – make lives better (we wouldn’t have chosen this as our tagline if it didn’t!), but it is most effective when it is the means to an end (and perhaps not even the end result), involving ongoing, two-way communication with our students. We would even go so far as to say that this should be the basis for all music education. Starting with the fundamentals, and with the goals of both musical AND life-improving achievements at the heart of every lesson.