We believe that all children and young people in the borough of Lewisham should have access to a diverse range of high-quality, inspirational musical activities which are appropriate for their ability and aligned to their interests.
Music is a joy within itself and should be valued as such, and we want to foster a lifelong love of music within young people. However, we are passionate about the other benefits that music can bring to young people’s skills and development; their personal and social confidence and sense of self-worth; creativity and self-expression; and their longer-term ambitions, aspirations, and achievements. Music has been proven to have a transformational impact on positive wellbeing and mental health.
Equity, diversity and inclusion is at the heart of what we do. We are passionate about overcoming barriers to participation for all young people, whether that be due to an additional need or disability, geography, financial barriers or other systemic issues. We are working hard to seek investment and skills to make music education more equitable, and currently have programmes that work specifically with Looked After Children, young asylum seekers, and children from low-income families.
Lewisham Music is inspired by the impact that music can have on our sense of community and young people’s sense of individual and collective identity. We value the rich diversity of the area we serve, and are working hard to ensure that this diversity is reflected in our activities and workforce. We want young people from different backgrounds to see themselves reflected in the work of the charity, and to be able to engage with our work as confident individuals with their own unique identity. We believe that all musical styles are valuable and should be open to all young people, but are also careful to ensure that our work is authentic and the cultural context of different musical traditions is valued.
Everything Lewisham Music offers is subsidised using our funding from Arts Council England. We offer a range of additional subsidies and discounts for our community programmes, and also support young musicians in schools through bursary scheme delivered in partnership with London Music Fund and Awards for Young Musician’s’ Furthering Talent programme. We strongly encourage all schools to utilise Pupil Premium money to further support pupils who may have the desire but not the means. We work hard to attract new investment into the community, and are constantly striving to balance the need to offer activities that are value for money and accessible with our responsibilities for programme sustainability and organisational financial stability.
Education, music, the arts sector and indeed society in general are continually evolving. We strongly believe in the value of training, professional development and lifelong learning for all our staff. Lewisham Music is committed to our own organisational development, ensuring that our offer stays fresh, relevant and high-quality.
We believe that to achieve the best outcomes for the young people and communities we work with, we should constantly be reviewing, improving and expanding our offer in a way which is equitable and sustainable. We want the communities, parent/carers and young people wo are beneficiaries of our work should have a say in the way the charity develops, hence why we are building community consultation and youth voice into a number of our programmes.