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Impact - for members/ potential members

Musical Connections is steered by project members. When you join the project we work with you to set your own musical and personal aims for the project – whether that’s improving your songwriting skills, learning a new piece of production software, making new friends, gaining the confidence to give your own opinion or learning to work better with others. We think it’s really important to find out about you and your situation when you join the project to work out how we can help, and then help you to review your goals to realise the progress that you are making.

When you apply for the project we think really carefully about the best member of our team to work with you in your one-to-one sessions. We consider your musical interests, access needs and other preferences to help place you with the most appropriate music leader, to help you build a nice rapport. All of our Musical Connections team are highly experienced, professional musicians used to working with people with a range of needs and can cover most musical interests, whether that be Irish folk or Classical music through to Grime, Hip-Hop & Drill. All of our music leaders are friendly and supportive and are trained in mental health first aid.

In your first few sessions you’ll get to know your music leader and they will undertake some creative baseline activities with you, where you self-assess your own skills and confidence on a scale against some set questions. You’ll also set some personal aims against the Five Ways to Wellbeing. We’ll revisit this baseline and your aims throughout the project and at the end of the year to see how things are changing for you and to help you recognise any progress – alongside the music you make, of course! 

The Evaluation Process

(how we measure the impact)

We use each member’s baseline responses and the conversations around these to help us get a picture of the impact of the project has had on you - your Musical Connections story, if you like. Normally, at the end of the year, we write a case study explaining every member’s journey and progress. We often ask for members to give their own quotes here and also gather input from any family members, friends or support workers that members are happy for us to contact. 

Each member’s Musical Connections story is personal to them and we find that our members really value the time to be able to reflect on their journey and to recognise and celebrate progress. At the start of the project we ask all members to consent to their case studies being documented in our project evaluation reports that we send to our partners and funders, to help them see the value of this work and the difference that their support is making. All case studies and baseline statistics are given anonymously, so that no member can be identified (unless you give specific approval otherwise).

We also collate and analyse all of the baseline statistics collected across the project to give us an understanding of the overall impact of the project for the whole cohort (group). For example, we might find out through the baseline activities and evaluations that 70% of members felt that their musical skills had improved, or that 90% felt that they had made new friends through the project. 

Have a look at this presentation for an example of how we use the evaluation data collected to show the project impact.

The video case studies on this page were produced with special permission from these longstanding Musical Connections members who were happy to be identified and filmed to highlight the impact of the project. Hopefully they will give you an idea of how Musical Connections might be able to help you!

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