Through Future Sounds, a 3-year programme of work funded by Youth Music, we are developing and delivering a rich programme of music making in two areas: SEN/D (Special Educational Needs and/or Disabilities) and Youth Justice. Utilising our specialist music leaders and strong partnerships in these areas, and building on previously/currently funded work: Exchanging Notes, Sonic Explorers and Musical Inclusion, we are expanding our engagement to increase access and participation in music making for young people.

We are working with specialist support workers with Youth Offending and Crime Prevention Teams to design and and co-deliver a rich offer for young people at risk of offending. Through this we aim to produce engaging and innovative prevention programmes that use music activity to support young people at a critical time in their lives.

We have strong SEN/D networks in our region, and are building on the exciting music delivery we have developed in a number of schools locally. We are striving to embed innovative and tailored music activity and delivery skills in settings in Southampton and Portsmouth. Our experienced practitioners will work closely with each setting to build relevant music programmes and support staff to co-deliver.

Sharing skills between practitioners and support staff in both areas, we’ll produce strong evaluation and work strategically to link this work to local/regional/national priorities, measuring impact and exploring sustained delivery.


  1. To increase the skills and awareness of music leaders, teachers and associated staff to support SEN/D young people to access music-making
  2. To improve the sense of wellbeing and resilience of children and young people who are engaged in the Youth Crime Prevention Scheme in Hampshire
  3. To improve improvisation and songwriting skills of children and young people in challenging circumstances
  4. To increase the number and effectiveness of partnerships that support and encourage wider engagement in music for children and young people in challenging circumstances
  5. To increase knowledge and skills to develop robust evidence that documents the benefits of music interventions with children and young people in challenging circumstances

Case studies

The project at Greenwood school, a pupil referral unit in the New forest in Hampshire, has enabled young people the opportunity to make music, learn how to play instruments, write songs, re-discover or uncover latent musical skills and empower them to create new, positive pathways and identities.

Over the course of the last year, pupils have taken part in person centred musical activities that have been tailored to their individual needs and that have supported and facilitated creative, personal, social development and fulfilment.

View full case study.

Student C is a 16 year old male attending Mary Rose Academy in Portsmouth, he is wheelchair bound and tends not to use his hands to manipulate items and objects and is diagnosed with epilepsy.

Student C has recently completed work with Future Sounds as a way of getting a range of students with varying SEND needs to participate in song writing/music exploration and using music as a method of communication for students who cannot necessarily speak themselves. Therefore, to find out there was a project working with Future Sounds and SoCo to introduce students to instruments from a full orchestra and perform together myself and my team for 5 Teaching Assistants were very excited.

Read full case study.

Through our project, Future Sounds, we have worked in partnership with Rosewood Free School in Southampton. One of our outcomes is to improve improvisation and songwriting skills of children and young people in challenging circumstances.

In working with young people with Profound Multiple Learning Difficulties we have seen our participants’ musical skills and self-expression flourish as through our delivery we found appropriate outlets, resources and forms of interaction.

Read full case study.

Exploring the Evidence

Evaluation and impact measurement is an important part of our work. As we embark on new long term projects we ensure that we understand what evidence and research exists that relates to our delivery. In the case of Music in Youth Justice settings there is a strong evidence base, and we will be carrying out an evidence review of the impact of music and creative interventions for young people offending or at risk of offending. Here are some useful links to research papers, evaluation materials and previous evidence reviews:

Evidence review: Music making with young offenders and young people at risk of offending – Norma Daykin

Demonstrating the value of arts in Criminal Justice

A Narrative-Based Evaluation of “Changing Tunes” Music-based Prisoner Reintegration Interventions

Musical Pathways: an exploratory study of young people in the criminal justice system, engaged with a creative music programme

Re-imagining Futures


Good Vibrations: Music and social education for young offenders

Young People Not in Education, Employment or Training (NEET) and Music Making – YOUTH MUSIC Evidence review

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