In May 2017, Cambridgeshire Music provided part of the funding towards a £60,000 project run by the Cambridge Junction (also supported by Cambridge City Council and Arts Council England) to create new opportunities for young musicians. Now, a new report has been released which shows the impact that these activities had, not just on their music-making, but on their lives beyond music as well.

Our funding helped the Junction deliver activities such as:

• Opportunities for young bands and singer-songwriters to play live
• Events in which they could meet people working in the music industry
• Specialist events for young people who are not in education, employment or training
• Opportunities for aspiring music engineers to operate a professional gig
• A two-day festival celebrating Arabic music with workshops in schools
• A festival curated by young people themselves and showcasing emerging local talent.

The Junction’s evaluation report is based on feedback from many of the hundreds of young people who took part as well as staff, partner organisations, teachers and others. It shows that playing live and making professional connections really helped these performers to improve as musicians, and transformed the way in which they think about music.

But just as important was the wider impact: overwhelmingly, the evidence suggests that the participants’ confidence and self-esteem soared, changing the way in which they saw themselves. Across the board, their social, communication and technical skills improved.

Many emerged with bigger expectations about what they can achieve. One participant commented: “This has allowed us to get experience in a real proper venue. Most of our experience before was in schools with nowhere near the expertise”. Another said: “Without this I would be reluctant to enter the live sound industry. It has widened my understanding and experience of sound, stage and set up and it may be a good career choice for me”.

You can read more about the Junction’s work with the wider community here and don’t forget to take a look at what Cambridgeshire Music's School of Rock & Pop can offer aspiring band members on our website here