Musicians in residence

Musicians in residence


As well as our intensive Music in Prisons projects, we are now also implementing key Musician in Residence placements to complement and sustain the impact of the intensive projects.

“Some of the experienced musicians are peer leading on the course and are doing most of the planning and preparation without my help, which is fantastic. We’re seeing steady improvements in the student’s playing ability, which is very satisfying. Peer leading is a real learning experience for them and a great benefit to the rest of the group. I have now linked with the mentor training scheme in the prison, so that my co-leaders can become trained mentors as they continue to teach alongside me.” James Dey, Musician in Residence

Guitar - Lizzie CoombesOur first prison Musician in Residence placement began in May 2013 with musician James Dey. On a weekly basis James runs Rock School accredited courses, a guitar group and an open mic session.

“Learning to play the guitar gives me a sense of worth, like I’ve arrived. Playing the guitar is a great coping tool; it enables me to focus and motivates me. Being able to pick up the guitar when all is desolate and miserable is important. I can vent my frustrations in lyrics – it gives me peace of mind.”  Participant feedback


prsf_rgbThis pioneering placement was made possible by the PRS For Music Foundation – which renewed funding to allow the placement to continue for a further year in Spring 2016. We are hugely grateful to the PRS For Music Foundation for recognising the value of the programme and their continued support of the Irene Taylor Trust.


The freedom of expression through music has given me a piece of the freedom back I have lost. It has shown me a lot about dedication and that anything is possible with hard work.” Participant feedback

We now have three further prison Musician in Residence placements running in London and the South-East and plan to gradually grow expand the programme to complement our intensive Music in Prisons projects.

Get to know more about James Dey over a nice cup of tea.