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Music, health and young people

Findings from our evaluation of ArtsTrain

ArtsTrain is a creative music programme run by leading social enterprise Mytime Active since 2008. The programme supports children and young people across the London Boroughs of Bromley, Bexley and Lewisham, targeting those who are not engaged in formal music making and some who face additional challenges in mainstream settings, such as development disabilities like autism.

This week our evaluation of the programme was published. The evaluation looked at how the programme supported the participants to overcome personal challenges to learn new skills, build networks and have a positive impact on their wellbeing, amongst other outcome areas.

Our key findings included:

  • Participants gained technical and transferable skills, as well as creative skills – 90% felt they could communicate with other people through music following the programme (an increase of 34 percentage points from the beginning of the programme), as well as 84% (↑29%) could work well in a team. 74% (↑13%) felt they were able to use their imagination to solve problems following the programme
  • Participants learned to persevere, with 86% (↑29% at the end of the programme) reporting that they like to finish something once they’ve started
  • Participants felt motivated to try new things – there was a 30% increase in those who felt enthusiastic about getting involved in different things, and 19% increase in those who felt enthusiastic about creating something new. These are significant given that the project was targeted at those who hadn’t previously engaged in formal music making or felt they had access to a broad range of creative activities
  • It encouraged the vast majority of participants to continue to learn about music, with 90% planning to continue their music learning over the next six months.

These findings show how creative practice within a supported space have a strong positive impact on how participants see themselves, their creative abilities, and their future opportunities. Read our full report here.

This project links into two key trends across BOP’s work:

For more on BOP’s impact evaluations see here.

Joshua Dedman, Senior Researcher

Image credit: Sounds of London, CASPA