Music4Good has come a long way since its inception in late 2006. Created by Live Futures, a not for profit social enterprise with a seven year history of working with young people from diverse and often at-risk backgrounds, and has excellent links with local council and youth provision across London. Live Future's flagship initiative is Live Magazine, a magazine created by young people for young people is an award winning publication and has a proven track record.
Music4Good's inception started life as a smaller scale project based in Lewisham. Live Recordings, a working record label designed to teach transferable skills in marketing, promotion and office management, was funded by the NRF principally to divert at-risk young people from gangs, guns and drugs, in the borough of Lewisham. The final release on the label was a young musician called Jamie Woon, who, we are proud to say, is now signed to Polydor Records. After two excellent years many important lessons were learned. We needed to upscale and start bringing this type of knowledge and opportunity to young people across London.
Livity and Sony Music
Live Futures sister company, Livity, a socially responsible marketing agency specialising in youth orientated campaigns was working with Sony Music on a campaign called Rhyme 4 Respect. A meeting of minds conversation with Mervyn Lynn, VP of A&R RCA, led Music4Good to trial their apprenticeships model at Sony Music in March 2007 with two full time six-month placements with the aim of:
- Fulfiling a need for and gap in diversity and skills
- Breaking the cycle of "no experience equals no job", "who you know" and "grad's only"
- Providing different calibre of employee from diverse and untapped demographics
Over the next two years we piloted, tweaked and developed our independently created and music industry supported apprenticeships. Our "Music, Business and Life" music course was accredited by the Open College Network and created by practising industry professionals. Securing funding from the Brit Trust enabled Music4Good to engage with independent record labels - Domino, Greensleeves, Gut and BBE - by funding the apprentices' wages, offering a counterpoint experience, whilst supporting the small medium enterprise (SME) organisations in the sector.
Early 2009 saw Music4Good expand its partner employers to include Universal, PRS for Music, PPL and BPI, iTunes, Independiente and The Media Spot, placing 14 apprentices' on six-month placements.
September 2009 saw us launch our 5th phase of apprenticeships, welcoming Beggars and EMI to the partnerships. This enabled us to provide 17 apprenticeships placements. We also partnered with City of Westminster College to administrate our apprenticeships, helping us access government funding via LSC and offering the National Award in Music Business at Level 3.
Competitive edge through investment
Music4Good is competing with both a challenging economic climate and changing market place. And the music industry has constantly been one of the most forward thinking and creative sectors, willing to go against the trend, and actually invest in young people's futures through apprenticeships, therefore enabling music companies to evolve with staff who understand and pioneer not just the now, but the future too.
Strength in numbers
With more partners, together we can have a bigger voice to lobby government with, and from there we can create a more sustainable model that has more chance of securing investment and making sure Music4Good is around for the long term.