An evaluation of The Irene Taylor Trust’s Sounding Out programme 2016-2018

Author(s):*Listed Alphabetically
Caufield L, Jolly A, Massie R

Year of Publication:

The Irene Taylor Trust


This report evaluates The Irene Taylor Trust’s Sounding Out progamme which runs a music tranieeship for ex-prisoners. The Irene Taylor Trust runs a music traineeship (Sounding Out) providing ex-prisoners with longer term rehabilitative opportunities upon their release to bridge the gap between life inside and outside of prison. Through music creation, performance, training and work placements, the programme aims to develop transferable team working and communication skills, instill discipline, increase self-confidence, self-esteem and self-motivation, improve social skills and develop mentoring skills.

The Institute for Community Research and Development was commissioned to undertake an independent evaluation of the programme. The evaluation took a qualitative approach to explore the views and experiences of participants, staff and family members to understand if and how Sounding Out is successful, identifying any barriers to success and making evidence-based recommendations for improvements.

Sounding Out demonstrated benefits in: the development of personal and social skills associated with desistance from crime; identifying focus and direction towards employment and away from reoffending; building practical skills, improved musical ability, patience to work with others, and empathy through team working. Sounding Out has benefits for an individual’s readiness for continued involvement in music. There are also benefits for the professional musicians involved and for prison and probation staff.

Sounding Out is a two year, London-based programme, providing ex-prisoners with longer-term rehabilitative opportunities upon their releaseto bridge the gap between life inside and outside of prison. The programme consists of:creative music projects;live performance opportunities;one to one pastoral support;training;workshop delivery;mentoring;work placements.

For more evaluations of Arts and the Criminal Justice System go to the Evidence Library –

Evidence Type: Qualitative Research

Main Focus: Community Development

Research Purpose: Outcome Evaluation

Context: Forensic / Secure

Participant Group: Adults

Art Forms: Music

APA Citation:

Massie, R., Jolly, A. and Caufield, L. (2019). An evaluation of The Irene Taylor Trust’s Sounding Out programme 2016-2018. Wolverhampton: Institute for Community Research and Development, University of Wolverhampton.