Playing at Home: How Families Engage with In Harmony Liverpool

Author(s):*Listed Alphabetically
Robinson J

Year of Publication:

Royal Liverpool Harmonic, University of Liverpol

Publication Type:


In Harmony Liverpool is one of the Liverpool Philharmonic’s most significant music learning programmes, established in 2009. The programme is inspired by El Sistema from Venezuela. In Harmony’s emphasis is on inclusivity and community, and all children are involved in the project irrespective of their musical abilities and level of their engagement. The In Harmony programme ranges from sessions with parents and pre-school children to develop an awareness of rhythm and music making to West Everton Super Strings (WESS) for young people aged 11 to 16 years. However the core of In Harmony remains the programme of musical education within schools, whereby children are involved in a minimum of 4 ½ hours of musical education each week with a dedicated team of musicians from the RLP, and perform to their families and wider audiences.

This paper evaluates Playing at Home, an exploratory project set up to research the experiences of family members of children who participate in In Harmony in Liverpool. All of the family members who agreed to take part were strongly supportive of the work of In Harmony, although families were not selected on this basis and all were prompted to raise any issues and to reflect on anything they thought could be improved about the project.

Participants identified the different ways that In Harmony had transformed theirs and their children’s lives by: supporting their child and giving them new skills and opportunities; transforming their experiences of spaces and places; and renewing and/or developing their enjoyment of music and giving them a new appreciation of musical education. While these are all important findings, and add to the growing body of evidence that demonstrates the success of In Harmony, the most notable finding from this research was the families own, hardly acknowledged, contribution to the success of In Harmony through their unqualified and active support of their children and the project on a daily basis.

This Repository includes further information on In Harmony Liverpool, including:

Burns, S. (2019) In Harmony Liverpool: 2009-2019 Reflections on 10 Years of Learning. Liverpool: Liverpool Philharmonic.

Evidence Type: Qualitative Research

Main Focus: Wellbeing / Quality of life

Research Purpose: Outcome Evaluation

Context: Community

Participant Group: Children (0-15)

Art Forms: Music

Access Type: Free Download

APA Citation:

Robinson J. (2015). How Families Engage with In Harmony Liverpool. Liverpool: Liverpool Philharmonic.