In Harmony music programme in schools continues to support social wellbeing and positive aspirations of children in deprived communities
20 August 2015
Newly published NFER research, the second in a three-year analysis, indicates that pupils participating in the In Harmony social and music programme in schools continue to enjoy music and have a positive view of their future prospects at the same high levels as in the first year’s evaluation.
Arts Council England (ACE) commissioned NFER to undertake the national evaluation of the In Harmony social and music education programme 2012–2015. In Harmony has been funded by the Department for Education and ACE, and is currently being piloted in six areas in England. The aims are to change the lives of children in exceptionally deprived communities through an immersive experience, where children play instruments together from an early age, within a whole school and/or community-based approach.
To explore the future sustainability and impact of In Harmony for children, families, schools and wider communities, NFER is carrying out a longitudinal national evaluation of the programme. The newly published Year 2 Interim Report presents the key findings of the NFER evaluation:
- In Harmony continues to support children’s music-making, musical enjoyment, social wellbeing and positive aspirations.
- Survey responses remain high on musical enjoyment and future aspirations. This year, In Harmony children are even more positive about their futures than they were last year.
- Pupils also feel their classroom teachers know a lot about music – a possible indication of how In Harmony is supporting teachers’ musical confidence and skills.
- In addition to curriculum delivery, In Harmony increasingly offers extra-curricular activities engaging children from primary schools outside the core programme.
- Interestingly, children’s enjoyment of school and their desire to continue to play their instrument in a group declined very slightly from their previously high levels. Children may be recognising the hard work involved in playing an instrument; or these attitudes may be influenced by a maturation effect – children tend to become more negative towards school and learning as they grow older. The evaluation will continue to track these attitudes in Year 3 of the evaluation alongside the responses of children in comparison schools.