“I gained a lot from the week. I learned more about music and I also learned things not associated with music such as communication, self-belief and confidence.” Prison Project Participant
Our projects are about more than simply creating music. The creative process is also a vehicle for substantial personal development and can act as the catalyst in helping participants to make positive changes in their lives.
- raise participants’ levels of self-confidence and self-esteem
- develop important transferable life-skills such as communication, team-working and perseverance
- increase motivation to engage in further education and training opportunities
- reduce incidences of offending behaviour while in prisons
- support ex-prisoner participants to resettle on release
- challenge negative perceptions of prisoners, ex-prisoners and NEET young people by publicly celebrating their talent
- provide an important platform for self-expression and to work positively with peers
These observations have been supported by external evaluations of our work, which you can read in full here.
Find out what participants say about the impact taking part in projects has had on their lives here.
We have robust monitoring systems in place which are continually honed and developed. Every project is monitored by pre- and post-project questionnaires for participants, providing both quantitative and qualitative data, in addition to questionnaires for prison staff; our project team complete a daily diary detailing progress of each individual and the group as a whole. We also ask participants to complete a follow-up questionnaire several months after the project, allowing us to measure how well positive impacts have been sustained.
Of course, projects do also result in some fantastic pieces of original music; have a listen here.
We also look for opportunities to take part in specific pieces of research which can support our learning and development as an organisation. Recently Artistic Director Sara Lee wrote a report on her learnings from her Winston Churchill Memorial Fund Travelling Fellowship; our former Personal Development Manager Hermione Jones undertook a piece of Action Research commissioned by Sound Connections into the ‘Role of the Support Worker’ in music projects; and our project team got together for our first RnD Lab. Find our more here.