Wow! It's Music next!
Impact evaluation of the Wider Opportunities Programme in Music
In 2009 Awards for Young Musicians collaborated with the Federation of Music Services and the Department for Children, Schools and Families to commission and fund a major new piece of research which aimed to provide objective evidence regarding the impact of the Wider Opportunities (WO) Programme.
This was a great opportunity for us to find out the extent to which young people with musical talent are being identified and nurtured through the WO programme. It enabled us to assess whether we’ve correctly identified where some of the major barriers to progression are for talented young people and therefore whether the programmes we’ve been developing are tackling evidenced need.
The report was published on 29 January 2010 and the key findings relating to our work are:
Need for sustainability of support for talented young people
The impact evaluation bears out our own findings: that talented young people are being identified through WO who would otherwise never have been - this is fantastic. However it also says that WO doesn’t always have the capability to progress or develop that talent, as provision of pathways for talent development is on a 'one off' basis rather than a systematic programme. This evidences a clear need for more continuous pathways for instrumental learning for talented children such as the one we've been developing through our Furthering Talent programme.
Furthering Talent is also tackling another issue identified by the research – talent loss. This is the situation where talented young people may not be able to continue with their instrumental lessons because parents are unable to find the money themselves (the report gives the example that £30 a term is simply too much for many families) or show lack of support for their children to continue learning.
Need for information for talented young people
The impact evaluation also bears out our own findings: that there needs to be more access to information and guidance for talented young people, their families and teachers on continuation options and provision of more bespoke opportunities. This evidences a need for mechanisms that more effectively highlight musical development options, such as our own Pathways programme of tailor made advice and support.
The Executive Summary is available to download here
£90: the difference between making music and no music at all
One of the several findings of this report, which we co-funded, was that many families struggle to find just £30 per term to fund group instrumental lessons for their children. Without our support, talented young people would have no chance of continuing to develop their gift. A donation of £90 would pay for a whole year's group tuition to help them continue their musical journey: if you can help please Donate now.
The impact evaluation also raises other areas for development that relate to all young people's music making - but which we're currently tackling in relation to talent: