Making Tracks

Making Tracks programme


Making Tracks targets young people at elevated risk, including those on the fringes of the criminal justice system and those who are NEET (Not in Education, Employment or Training). We expand the horizons of the young people and offer up to a year of progression support, including: taster sessions; an intensive workshop week which culminates in a live performance to the local community; a series of follow-on music sessions tailored to the group’s interests; one-to-one sessions with our Personal Development Coordinator. Working with partners including local youth organisations, YOTs and The Prince’s Trust, the young people receive pastoral support and bespoke guidance to further development opportunities. Making Tracks has been validated as Project Oracle Standard 1.

“Through music we gain confidence in ourselves, learn by working with others, learn to trust others.” Heretier, Making Tracks participant

A short film about Heritier’s Making Tracks experience is here.

Making Tracks vocalists - photo by Lizzie CoombesDuring the intensive project, over just 5 days, led by the Irene Taylor Trusts project team, the young people taking part learn how to play instruments, form a band and write their own original songs. The group is also supported by specially trained musicians from our ex-prisoner programme Sounding Out, who have first-hand experience of the grim reality of spending time in prison and the life-enhancing power of music.

As well as performing their original songs live, the new band make recordings of all the tracks, which are then professionally mixed for a special CD for participants to share with friends and family and posted online to the Making Tracks Soundcloud page.

“At the beginning of this week I was really shy. I’m a really shy person anyway, but this week has really brought me out of my shell; it’s made me so much more confident. I was absolutely buzzing on the night of the gig… I definitely feel like it’s helped me a lot.” Steph, Making Tracks participant

A short film about Steph’s Making Tracks experience is here.

After taking part in the 5-day intensive project, the young people will be given the opportunity to hone their new-found skills over a series of follow-on music sessions, over the course of which they can earn an officially recognised Arts Award accreditation.

Making Tracks alumni perform at Union ChapelCentral to Making Tracks is guiding the young people, buoyed with their raised self-confidence, on to further opportunities. Our Personal Development Coordinator Lauren works closely with the young people to help source suitable progression routes and development opportunities, and has recently helped young people on to courses with Oval House, National Youth Theatre, the Roundhouse and many others, as well as recruiting Making Tracks alumni to talk at events, perform at concerts, or take part in our Young Producers scheme.

The pilot Making Tracks project took place in Lambeth in 2011. It became a core part of our work from 2012 on-wards and projects have now taken place in the London Boroughs of Tower Hamlets, Newham, Lewisham, Croydon and Hammersmith & Fulham.

Making Tracks: North West partnership with TiPP: In 2018 we realised a long-term strategic aim to bring Making Tracks to the North West, working in partnership with TiPP. A two-year pilot will allow us to work with young people in and around Manchester, as well as to train musicians in the region, who learn by working alongside our experienced project team.

Listen to our musicListen to the music! There is now a dedicated Soundcloud page for the original music created on Making Tracks – here.

Here is a short film about the Making Tracks intensive project:


For participants: There is now a special Making Tracks micro-site designed to provide more information for participants – visit it here.

%d bloggers like this: