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The 2023 Music Mark Award Winners!

8th December 2023

A group of 16 people stood on stage smiling at the camera

As part of our 10th birthday celebrations, last week we announced the winners of our first ever Music Mark Awards at our Annual Conference in Southampton! Throughout the conference dinner, we announced each of our four award winners and shared the amazing work they have been doing within the music education sector.


Talk into Action Award – sponsored by ABRSM

Linking in with Music Mark’s Talk into Action campaign, the Talk Into Action Award is designed to celebrate the work of members that is meaningful and innovative in widening access to music education, improving inclusivity and ensuring our young people and communities are well represented in music-making. This year, our shortlisted candidates were Open Up Music, Music Education Hubs East Midlands (MEHEM), and Norfolk Music Hub.

And this year’s winner is… Music Education Hubs East Midlands!

Music Education Hubs East Midlands, or ‘MEHEM’, has developed ‘UpRising!’, a project working across the region to develop equitable music provision for pupils who are disabled and/or have additional learning needs, training 350 instrumental teachers, developing resources and building a team of Inclusion Champion Practitioners, impacting many hundreds of young people for years to come.


Youth Initiative of the Year

Celebrating youth-led projects, this award highlights the work of children and young people in making great music initiatives happen. There were no parameters on what projects should be, other than they be led by youth voices. The shortlist for Youth Initiative of the Year was MAC Makes Music, Lewisham Music Hub, and Tri-borough Music Hub.

And the winner is… Lewisham Music Hub!

Lewisham Music Hub’s ‘Front Line Young Minds’ is an entirely youth led podcast series that delves into the connection between music in young people’s mental health. The episodes focused on issues raised by young people and featured the views of music industry professionals, young creatives, music organisations and teachers, resulting in many interesting and wide-ranging discussions. 


Dynamism Award – sponsored by MeldedScott standing next to a Music Mark banner holding a glass award

Tying in with our conference theme, the Dynamism Award celebrates the most innovative work happening across the UK music education sector. Projects could be large or small, and there was no particular theme, but they had to highlight new thinking and ‘making things happen’. This year’s shortlisted candidates were Ferndown Middle School, Surrey Music Hub, and Warwickshire Music Hub.

This year’s winner is… Ferndown Middle School!

Ferndown Middle School has been running a Friday morning group for vulnerable pupils for the last two years, led by Scott Welcomme, and as well as musical skills is helping to ease anxiety, improve confidence as well as pupil behaviour, and other really positive outcomes. 


Unsung Hero in Music Education – sponsored by MusicFirst

So much great work across the UK from organisations and individuals goes under the radar, and we want to highlight this work, not only to celebrate achievements, but to share ideas and inspire others with what is happening around the country. The shortlist for our Unsung Hero was Helen Temple, Phill Hyde, Hertfordshire Music Service, and Joe Cook.

And the winner is… Joe Cook!

Joe Cook was nominated by colleagues from Coventry Music where he is seen as an inspiration for his work with those excluded from school, using music as a tool to enable young people to make positive choices in their lives, as well as other projects involving children with additional support needs. 


We’d like to say a huge congratulations to everyone who was nominated, those who made it onto the shortlist, and of course, our winners, for all of your work and innovation within the music education sector! And remember, it’s never too early to start thinking about who you’d like to nominate for next year’s Music Mark Awards.