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News11th March 2021

Ark Music launches new Youth Leadership Programme

Ark Music has launched a Youth Leadership programme for 18- to 25-year-olds who are NEET (Not in Education, Employment, or Training) to train them to become music leaders.

With funding from Youth Music, this one-year programme will work with 11 young people to work and train in music education across our 38 schools. You can read more about the youth leaders below.

The cohort will build their skills as music leaders through dedicated training, mentoring from experienced music educators, and paid work placements in school and community settings.

Ark Music will support their transition to the professional world through work-readiness training, professional mentoring, mental health, and resilience support.

Carys Evans, Music Programme Manager, said: “The music education sector remains difficult for young people to enter, as there is a lack of opportunities or pathways, particularly those from coming from non-traditional musical backgrounds. Over the last seven years, Ark Music has been working with alumni from our schools, supporting their development, and bringing them on to our team as Artists in Residence. We have seen the positive impact of our work, both on the alumni themselves and our school communities. We know that Ark Music is uniquely placed to make a difference in young people’s lives as they transition to life beyond school.

“We are excited now to widen the reach of our programme to support other school leavers from similar backgrounds. Our Ark Music Youth Leadership Programme will help them take their first steps towards becoming professional music leaders in their communities.”

Nineteen-year-old Danielle, who goes by her artist name Destaria is a singer/songwriter from London and is currently working on an EP. She said: “I’m so looking forward to being a part of the Youth Leadership Programme and always learning along the way!”

Ark Music is working with the following partners to deliver this programme, including Lambeth Music Service, Raw Materials, Roundhouse, School Ground Sounds and Wired4Music.

Carys is speaking at Sound Connections’ Inclusive Practice In Action: Diversifying the Music Education Workforce this week, where she will talk about the programme, the importance of building pathways into the sector for people from non-traditional backgrounds, and the work Ark is doing to support young people getting into the sector. Sound Connections is the leading voice for inclusive and youth-led practice in the music world.

If you’re interested in supporting this programme, please contact

Youth Leader Profiles


I am an aspiring singer/songwriter from Croydon. I consider myself an alternative RnB artist, however I love to incorporate other styles of music/genres in my songs too.


My name is Anna, and I’m a singer songwriter. I believe my sound starts from the soil of gospel, transforming into the roots and stems of soul, branching off into jazz, country and blues to then blossoming into neo-soul, funk, hip hop, pop and rnb.


I am Antonio Oliveira, a singer/songwriter from South London currently working on an Emo Rap/Alt RnB EP. I’m exceptionally excited to be part of the Youth Leadership Programme at Ark and can’t wait to get started.


I’m Damilola. I enjoy writing and producing songs and due to my versatility, these tend to be in Pop-soul, Funk, Garage, R&B and Chill Neo-Soul.


My name is Danielle but my Artist name is Destaria; I am a 19-year-old singer/songwriter from London. I enjoy telling a story when songwriting and I feel that the songs I’m working on have a dark undertone to them, although being pop-based. I recently released my debut single ‘Ain’t A Man (I’m The One)’ and I am currently working on an E.P. I’m so looking forward to being a part of the Youth Leadership Programme and always learning along the way!


I am a singer/songwriter from East London, who is influenced by a mix of genres – mainly soul, jazz, R&B, gospel and indie music. I have seen the power of music in my life and want to share that with others, whether it’s through my own music or running community projects.


My name is Kadi, and I am a singer-songwriter from South East London. I make pop/soul music and I am 1/4 of a writing group managed under Ultimate Artists.


I’m an instrumentalist from North London who mainly plays the Piano and Tabla. With experience in Jazz and Theatre, I’m looking to start producing Hip-Hop and RnB.


I’m a convoluted mixture of person prone to quietness, change and small acts of courage. I love making music that makes you feel something and I’m fascinated by popular music in culture. Singing is my favourite!


I’m a rapper from South London who goes by the name Paradox. I make primarily hip-hop/UK rap and grime music and love live instruments and performing with bands.


My name is Tianna, aged 19 and I am an upcoming artist from South East London. The type of music I make would be under the genre R&B, and although my music is inspired by a lot of modern artists, it also has old school elements.