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First Notes

The first step to taking your music career to the next level

Our 6 month First Notes programme will enable early career artists aged 18-25 to professionalise their craft and develop their original music, supported by industry professionals from initial recording stages right up to release. 

First Notes is a programme designed to support artists aged 18-25 in taking their next steps towards professionalising their craft. Whether this is your first ever release or a new project, we will give you the tools to allow you to work at a professional level while retaining full creative control.

About the Programme

Funded by Youth Music, ‘First Notes’ artists will be supported through the process of recording and releasing a piece of original music.

During the 6 month residency, artists will be working with professional producers in renowned recording studios Blank Studios , Green Dragon Studios and Harbourmaster Productions, to record, mix and master the tracks.

Participants will receive industry advice and 1:1 mentoring from artist manager Bradley Kulisic (founder of bespoke artist and campaign management company Singing Light Music) rock star Adam Ian Sykes (guitarist of the hit band Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs) and Artist and Business Owner Josh Daniel (founder of JD Media Group) who will guide them through their single release campaign strategy, advise on distribution and help to develop their artist identity.

Generator’s Music Industry Advisory Group Member,  Thom Lewis (producer – Sam Fender, Martha Hill, Ernie) will listen to your demo and provide A&R/pre production notes ahead of going into the studio.  

Applications are now closed.


Artists or Bands on the First Notes Programme will be provided with: 

  • Mentoring, workshops, and masterclasses with industry professionals 
  • 1:1 time in industry standard studios to record a track, with support from professional producers. 
  • PRS membership, with guidance on how to register original works 
  • Support in curating and delivering  a release campaign for their professionally recorded single 
  • Performance showcaseopportunity

Participants will also attend a series of masterclasses, workshops and networking opportunities with focus on artist wellbeing, learning about performance rights, funding opportunities and developing live skills. 

Across the 6 month programme ‘First Notes’ artists/bands are expected to commit an average of 4 hours per month for 

  • workshops/masterclasses  
  • recording sessions and studio time (approx. 1-3 days)

 In addition, around 7 hours self-led work per month for 

  • self-reflection  
  • 1:1 mentoring sessions 
  • planning & developing a release campaign  
  • rehearsal, song writing and composition  

First Notes artists will gain access to self-led courses and resources to support their development flexibly around their own time, including #THEWRD 14 Day Music Career Builder from the Ivors Academy

Meet our 2022 First Notes Cohort

About Youth Music Incubator Fund

It works particularly with those who don’t get to make music because of who they are, where they live, or what they’re going through.

Every year, Youth Music funds more than 300 projects nationwide, supporting around 80,000 children and young people to make music, develop their skills, and progress on their chosen paths. The charity campaigns alongside young people to advocate for those who are missing out, to invest where it’s needed most, and to drive change in the music industries and education.

Youth Music is funded thanks to the National Lottery via Arts Council England, players of People’s Postcode Lottery, and support from donors, partners and fundraisers.


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