Research into large scale music-based social change programs
There is a growing body of research and other information concerning the value of music-based social development programs such as The Symphony For Life; here's a list, with links and summary of each of the most relevant studies - please check back , more are being added all the time:
Sistema Scotland - The Big Noise Program: Click Here
Sistema Scotland established Big Noise Children's Orchestra in the Raploch Estate in Stirling in 2008. It is an early intervention programme that uses music and participation in an orchestra to foster confidence, teamwork, pride and aspiration in the children.
The Scottish Government commissioned GEN to conduct an evaluation of the process and outcomes achieved by the Big Noise program. In particular, the study team sought to identify what specific features of Big Noise contribute to the outcomes for children and their families. The GEN team took a participatory approach to the study, consulting with Big Noise and Sistema Scotland staff, children, parents, carers, community members and Big Noise partners in, for example, education, social work, health and regeneration.
Evaluating Sistema Scotland – Initial Findings Report Summary - Click Here
Sistema Scotland is at a pivotal stage of its development as the programme seeks to expand Big Noise delivery across Scotland. At this stage it is clear that more needs to be learned concerning how Sistema Scotland operates, whether the Big Noise programmes represent ‘good value’ and whether the organisation achieves the desired impacts on the children and young people participating, their families and their wider community.
This evaluation has been established to capture important learning from the implementation and impact of Sistema Scotland’s work in Raploch and Govanhill. Our aim is to further the understanding, within Scotland and beyond, of what is required to deliver effective, targeted, early years, community-based social interventions within disadvantaged areas; and what such interventions might achieve. At its core, the evaluation seeks to ascertain the contribution made by Sistema Scotland to transforming the health, wellbeing and prospects of children and young people living in the areas where Big Noise programmes are delivered. This is a long-term aim, and what is reported here relates to early findings on process and short-term impacts, together with theorised pathways to longer-term impacts. The evaluation seeks to build as complete an understanding as possible of the processes that are integral to the Sistema Scotland approach and the pathways between that approach and the theorised impacts. Furthermore, the evaluation will consider the role that the Sistema Scotland approach might play in helping to generate better, and more equitable, population health outcomes in Stirling and Glasgow.
Evaluating Sistema Scotland – Initial Findings Report - Click Here
Evaluating Sistema Scotland: purpose and approach -
The vision for the evaluation is to capture important learning from the implementation and impact of Sistema Scotland’s work in Govanhill and Raploch. This will further the understanding, within Scotland and beyond, of effective, targeted, early years, community-based social interventions within disadvantaged areas. The primary focus of the evaluation is to ascertain the contribution made by Sistema Scotland to transforming the health, wellbeing and prospects of children and young people residing in the programme sites. The evaluation will build as complete an understanding as possible of the processes that are integral to the Sistema Scotland approach and the pathways between that approach and the theorised impacts. Furthermore, the evaluation will consider the role that the Sistema Scotland approach might play in helping to generate better, and more equitable, population health outcomes in Glasgow and Stirling.
To achieve this vision, two overarching evaluation aims have been developed. Aim one relates to developing understanding of the theorised programme pathways and for assessing the outcomes and impacts of the programme at a variety of levels. Aim two concerns the process and related learning from the implementation of the programme in Raploch and Govanhill.
Evaluating Sistema Scotland – Logic Models for the Program Report - Click Here
The logic models for the above report - which will help those to understand the Inputs, Outputs and Outcomes of the Big Noise programs
Evaluation of Sistema Aotearoa - The New Zealand El Sistema-influenced Program - Click Here
This report sets out the findings of an evaluation of the trial programme, Sistema Aotearoa. The evaluation field-work was carried out between May and August 2012 by The Knowledge Institute Ltd and DBZ Consultancy Ltd.
The Sistema Aotearoa trial began in April 2011, and the first cohort of participants completed their first year in the programme in April 2012. The programme is now in its second year of operation, with a second cohort of children beginning in April 2012. The evaluation is focused on the first cohort of participants.
The children participating in the first cohort of Sistema Aotearoa come from seven Otara primary schools – Te Kura Kaupapa Māori o Piripono, Bairds Mainfreight Primary School, East Tamaki Primary School, Rongomai Primary School, Sir Edmund Hillary Collegiate, St Johns the Evangelist School, and Wymondley Primary. In April 2011, 106 children enrolled in the first course. Almost all of the children were aged between 5 and 8 years of age and nearly all were from Māori, Samoan, Tongan, Niuean or Cook Island families.
The programme is funded, in most part, by the Ministry for Culture and Heritage, with Creative New Zealand recently undertaking this role, and delivery is supported by the Auckland Philharmonia Orchestra (APO)
Evaluation of In Harmony: Year 1 - National Foundation for Educational Research (NFER) - Click Here
NFER has been commissioned by Arts Council England (ACE) to undertake an evaluation of the effectiveness and impact of the In Harmony social and music education programme. The aims of the evaluation are to explore the range and extent of impacts that In Harmony is having on children, families, schools and wider communities, and to explore the future sustainability of the programme. The evaluation is underpinned by a set of research questions, outcome indicators, and a Theory of Change which summarises the aims, strategies and outcomes to be delivered through the In Harmony programme in order to effect positive change in the lives of young people.
This Year 1 Interim Report presents early findings from the evaluation. It is based on data from a baseline and comparison group survey, perceptual evidence from case studies in five sites, and In Harmony provision and participation data (collected for the spring term of 2013). It provides a baseline for the national evaluation, enabling outcomes to be assessed later in the study using pre- and post-, and comparison measures. Future reports will focus on the outcomes achieved by pupils who have taken part in the programme and will consider the implications of different delivery models, including for future sustainability.
Evaluation of In Harmony: Year 2 - National Foundation for Educational Research (NFER) - Click Here
NFER is undertaking a longitudinal national evaluation of In Harmony. The aims are to explore the impact of In Harmony for children, families, schools and wider communities, and to explore the future sustainability of the programme. A set of research questions, outcome indicators, and a theory of change underpin the evaluation. The NFER research team is conducting a series of pupil questionnaires, an analysis of provision and participation data, and case study visits.
This Year 2 Interim Report presents findings from three sources: i) the second year of the pupil survey, ii) an analysis of the In Harmony provision and participation data (collected from autumn 2012 to summer 2014), and iii) an analysis of school attendance data.
OTHER EVALUATIONS AND GENERAL RESEARCH
Venezuela's National Music Education Program El Sistema: Its Interactions with Society and its Participants' Engagement in Praxis
MICHAEL UY - Merton College | Oxford University | UK: Click here
Venezuela's government-funded, national music education program, El Sistema, has attracted worldwide attention because of its purported success in ‘saving’ children from lives filled with drugs, violence, and crime. It does this by giving them the opportunity to play in an after-school orchestra, one to four hours a day, five to six days a week. This article describes the program’s organizational philosophy and mission, and accounts for its day-to-day activities in order to explore how these programmatic aspects may positively contribute to participant engagement in Paulo Freire’s notion of praxis, that is, “reflection and action upon the world in order to transform it” (Freire and Ramos, 2004, p. 51). Additionally, other programmatic aspects of El Sistema are highlighted to help link the program with previous research on improving students’ social behavior and cognitive development. Finally, the article discusses some of the program’s strengths and weaknesses and how it plays a role in Venezuelan society, interacting not only with the community of students and parents, but also with national and local governments and the private business sector. In doing so, El Sistema is contextualized within its social environment and conclusions are drawn on the potential for success and replicability in other cities and countries.
Social change through Babumba and Beethoven — musical educational ideals of El Sistema - Click Here
By Åsa Bergman, Monica Lindgren – Swedish Journal of Music Research, vol. 96:2 (2014), pp. 43-58.
The El Sistema music education programme, which is based on a Venezuelan model developed in the 1970s, was introduced in Gothenburg, Sweden in 2010. One cornerstone of this choir and orchestra school is the use of music as a tool for individual and social development in order to provide a more democratic society through increased integration and decreased segregation. By using a discourse-analytical perspective as a starting point, this article aims to investigate how El Sistema legitimises music, and discuss discourses on music in relation to the idea of music as a tool for social and individual development. The results of our ethnographical study show that rhetoric related to music is largely based on aesthetic discourses developed during the 19th century in a manner similar to the late 19th-century Swedish folkbildningprojekt (adult education project). The discussion also addresses the blurring of aesthetic values and norms in the late modern era.
The Orchestra, the Community and Cultural Value - Click Here
Kerry Wilson - Institute of Cultural Capital - In Harmony Liverpool Research Network
Inspired by the Venezuelan El Sistema initiative, In Harmony Liverpool uses the symphony orchestra as a means of engaging young children (aged 4 years upwards) in music education and performance, adopting the Sistema philosophy of working with children from the most deprived parts of the country. Launched in 2009 and now one of six programmes supported by the charity In Harmony Sistema England, In Harmony Liverpool has become an embedded feature of cultural life in Liverpool’s West Everton community.
The report that follows presents a summary of the network’s workshop discussions to date, ahead of a final conference planned for Wednesday 17th July 2013 – The Orchestra, the Community and Cultural Value – where emerging ideas will be shared with an extended audience. The network has revealed considerable potential for a fascinating, longitudinal programme of research that considers the true, nuanced, causal impact and cultural value of In Harmony Liverpool as the programme progresses. The conference will provide a platform for gauging the validity of and interest in the research opportunities presented, with the ambition of building collaborative research teams to take this important research forward.
Canadian Music Educators’ Association Position Paper - Click Here
The Canadian Music Educators’ Association has explored the aims and goals, efficacy, and program delivery of the music education program known as El Sistema and hereby presents the following to summarize the CMEA/ACME’s current position.
Sistema Global Literature Review - 2nd Edition 2016 - Click Here
The authors of this report were moved by the power of their many individual stories and anecdotes, yet very much aware of the need for high quality research to measure, understand and articulate the social impact of these programs on the communities they serve. Local directors and teachers are busy serving students, parents, boards, volunteers and partners. As a natural result, monitoring, evaluation, review and sharing of practice are developing slowly.
This is a global literature review of available research and publications and an inclusive document which represents a wide range of perspectives; not necessarily the views of El Sistema leadership. As in common practice, it’s the intent of this paper to report what’s been written about El Sistema and comment only to the extent of helping make that information accessible and useful. The Executive Summary mirrors the outline of the full report and where complete references and original sources are listed.
The Arts and Achievement in At-Risk Youth: Findings from Four Longitudinal Studies - Click Here
This report examines the academic and civic behaviour outcomes of teenagers and young adults who have engaged deeply with the arts in or out of school. In several small-group studies, children and teenagers who participated in arts education programs have shown more positive academic and social outcomes in comparison to students who did not participate in those programs. Such studies have proved essential to the current research literature on the types of instrumental benefits associated with an arts education. A standard weakness of the literature, however, has been a dearth of large-scale, longitudinal studies following the same populations over time, tracking the outcomes of students who received intensive arts exposure or arts learning compared with students who did not. The Arts and Achievement in At-Risk Youth is a partial attempt to fill this knowledge gap. The report’s authors, James Catterall et al., use four large national databases to analyse the relationship between arts involvement and academic and social achievements.
The Five Fundamentals of El Sistema - Click Here
- By Jonathan Andrew Govias, Abreu Fellow, Music Educator and Conductor
Abstract: This article provides an inductive examination of the practices in Venezuela’s national youth orchestra network.
The Power of Music: Its Impact on the Intellectual, Social and Personal Development of Children and Young People - Click Here
Susan Hallam, Institute of Education, University of London
Recent advances in the study of the brain have enhanced our understanding of the way that active engagement with music may influence other activities. The cerebral cortex self-organises as we engage with different musical activities, skills in these areas may then transfer to other activities if the processes involved are similar. Some skills transfer automatically without our conscious awareness, others require reflection on how they might be utilised in a new situation.