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The Benefits of Music Workshop Participation for Pupils’ Wellbeing and Social Capital: The In2 Music Project Evaluation

Ward, Sophie and James, Simon and James, Kate and Brown, Chris and Kokotsaki, Dimitra and Wigham, Jade (2021) 'The Benefits of Music Workshop Participation for Pupils’ Wellbeing and Social Capital: The In2 Music Project Evaluation.', Arts Education Policy Review .


This paper reports on the evaluation of the In2 music project in Darlington, England. The project ran for seven weeks from January – March 2020 and involved Year 6 pupils from four primary schools (n = 103) and Year 7 pupils from one secondary school (n = 90), working with Back Chat Brass, a professional brass ensemble. The aim of the In2 music project was to enable pupils to work with professional musicians to enjoy the benefits of group-based music, which include happiness and optimism. These emotions are strongly associated with social capital, which this study defines as the benefits that individuals and communities derive from positive interpersonal relationships. This evaluation asks if the In2 music project resulted in non-quantifiable changes that are associated with positive outcomes for pupil wellbeing and social capital. We explore our findings in relation to a policy climate of cuts to arts education, as shown by the stories in a special issue of Arts Education Policy Review (Shaw, 2020). We argue that while political disregard threatens the development of social capital in economically deprived communities, funded interventions such as In2 can benefit some of the most vulnerable members of such communities.

Item Type:Article
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Publisher statement:© 2021 The Author(s). Published with license by Taylor & Francis Group, LLC. This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives License (, which permits non-commercial re-use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited, and is not altered, transformed, or built upon in any way.
Date accepted:11 March 2021
Date deposited:17 March 2021
Date of first online publication:25 March 2021
Date first made open access:28 May 2021

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