MUSiK is the new brand and website for Music in Kirklees bringing together music makers, programmers, presenters, educators and advocates in creating world class music – and making it accessible to everyone in the district
The new ‘umbrella’ MUSiK brand, which was launched at an event at Bassment Studios in Huddersfield, gives a clear and bold identity to this work, whilst sub-brands for key projects such as Year of Music 2023, Music Education & Skills and Music in Health & Wellbeing creates separate, but linked, identities for key projects.
The new MUSiK website aims to be a one-stop-shop for information about music across the district – from our music heritage to our festivals and events, through music courses, lessons, workshops and qualifications to bands, choirs, DJs and orchestras. The branding and the website have been developed with funding from Kirklees Council via the Leeds City Region LEP’s Business Rates Pool Fund.
Whether you want to get involved in music as a professional or an amateur, whether you want to begin your musical journey, improve your skills, or just have fun – the website aims to point you in the right direction. You’ll also find information about who’s who and the partners that have been involved in developing music in Kirklees projects and groups to date.
More content will be added to the website over the coming months, along with the latest news about people, projects and opportunities. If you would like to get involved in Year of Music 2023 let us know at firstname.lastname@example.org and if you would like to receive music updates then sign-up to MUSiK newsletters.
Guests at the launch event were addressed by Councillor Robert Walker, Portfolio Holder for Culture and Environment at Kirklees Council who said: “This is another exciting step forward for Kirklees, and the celebration of our music heritage and our music future. Working in collaboration, with so many fabulous music organisations and groups has shown how together, we are truly a place of music and that we have the foundations for an extra special Year of Music in 2023”.
A unique approach to working together to create world class music in Kirklees
Since publication of its Music Policy in 2017, Kirklees Council has been working with numerous partners across the whole music spectrum to begin developing plans for putting music at the heart of the district’s cultural life; making access to music education and skills is a key priority, alongside maximising the potential for music to benefit our health and wellbeing. As part of the region’s wider plans for a year of culture in 2023, Kirklees has already designated it as a Year of Music for the district
Over the past two years, several studies have been undertaken, including creating an audit and mapping of organisations and individuals working in music across Kirklees, alongside work to support the creation of a strong and safe night time economy. Music-sector consultations around ambitions for Year of Music 2023 have been combined with detailed interviews with the district’s key influencers and policy makers, as well as learning drawn from the experiences of music cities in the UK and around the world.
Whilst many cities and regions focus on music events to attract locals and visitors to their area, the 360 degree approach to ‘place making through music’ being taken in Kirklees is much more inclusive and ambitious; encompassing not just making and celebrating world class music in the district, but also making our music – and the benefits it brings – far more accessible, to far more people.
This means, for example, considering music education and skills across the board – from the earliest music experiences at school (and pre-school), right through to formal music qualifications at the highest levels, as well as opportunities for informal learning. By bringing all of this together, we can create clear pathways for access, progression, continued learning and skills development – whether that’s helping people to map out careers in music, or making sure there are more opportunities for people (of all ages) to learn to play music, make music or sing – at every level, in every community.
The enormous benefits of music to our health and wellbeing are rapidly becoming better understood and documented; whether it’s creating, playing, participating or listening to music, the impact on mental and physical health can be life affirming and, in some cases, life changing. In Kirklees, we have an opportunity to bring together multiple agencies, people and professions to harness expertise and adopt bold, forward thinking to unlock the potential power that music has to improve the lives of everyone across the district.
The aim of creating world class music in Kirklees will seek to: include both ‘mainstream’ and ‘niche’ genres; celebrate the music heritage and traditions of multiple faiths and communities; promote events in venues large and small; integrate formal and informal, professionals and amateurs; pool expertise and resources and share access and opportunities.
It’s a multi-faceted project which will take time and lots of creative energy; the MUSiK brand and website has created a name and a home for the ambition and a means to share it with everyone in Kirklees and beyond.