Music Junction - Legacy in Action

Our Music Junction community is growing! Each season nearly 150 participants find themselves inspired, moved and fully engaged in music-making that they want to continue, and quite a number take part over successive years. Many of those who have been involved in the project become passionate and enthusiastic ambassadors for what can be achieved by Music Junction’s sensitive and long-term approach. Consistent with the values at the heart of Music Junction, individuals, schools and groups take their journey forward in many different ways but the effects of Music Junction can be seen as the seeds sown at the start of the growing process for everyone who takes part.

Looking at the wider impact for participants, their comments and feedback show how much all value the opportunity to put their skills and talents not only into perspective, but also into use in unexpected ways. The project has encouraged not only a greater involvement in and love for music, as expected, but also an enthusiasm for wanting to change things for others. Some of MJ’s early participants, now at university, still write to the orchestra and attend events in support of the project; in their own words, they take their experience with them. The benefits of this socially diverse and inclusive project will go on for many years.

In Music Junction’s four regions, feedback shows that the project achieves positive outcomes not only for the participants, but within their wider communities, whether these are schools, social groups or families. It has been shown through the monitoring of mentoring activity, and the evaluation of behaviour and comments of children, parents, musicians and staff, that there is a real benefit not just in taking part in communal creative activity but in doing so in a wide social context, which broadens everyone’s understanding of one another and fosters greater aspiration and enthusiasm.

Good relationships between all partners and organisations ensure that evaluation of the project is ongoing throughout the project. Feedback is actively sought from all those taking part, through questionnaires, recorded interviews with participants, staff and musicians and thoughtful observation. Following the showcase performance, each year concludes with an opportunity for all groups involved to reflect and work that season. Good practice is shared and lessons to be learned openly acknowledged in the spirit of enabling the project to grow. Discussion includes a general review of the season, allowing partners to give feedback on artistic and logistic aspects, to evaluate development, and to decide collectively on the direction for the next season’s work.