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News from PrisonerActionNet

Seminar: Music and orchestral activities in prisons and YOIs

On 15th June, Lemos&Crane, in conjunction with Orchestras Live, held a seminar on Bringing music and orchestral activities into prisons and young offender institutions at LankellyChase Foundation in Central London.

After introductions to the project by Gerard Lemos, Partner at Lemos&Crane, and Henry Little, Chief Executive of Orchestras Live, the attendees broke up into groups to discuss the benefits of establishing musical and orchestral activities in prisons as well as barriers and solutions to the latter.

The attendees highlighted benefits such as enhanced prisoner self-confidence by discovering unknown talents, a greater desire to learn in areas beyond music making, the acquisition of hard as well as soft skills, such as the ability to read music, greater desistance and team working skills, and the potential for post-release opportunities and contacts. This range of advantages was analysed in the light of barriers, such as the difficulty of creating long-term sustainability and a legacy, appropriate quality and training of the musicians, and misconceptions by staff.

The groups came to the conclusion that by engaging in evaluations from an early stage, prisons would be enabled to prove the benefits of engaging in music and orchestral activities, which could help the creation of long-term sustainability. Due to the extensive network of Orchestras Live, whose mission is to bring orchestral music to groups that usually are less exposed to this type of music, finding appropriate musicians was deemed to be achievable. Misconceptions by staff were suggested to be tackled through educational training as well as potential involvement of staff into musical activities.

This small summary highlights some of the many aspects of this aspiring project that were discussed on the day and some of the interesting thoughts that the attendees shared. For anyone who is interested in the project and wasn’t able to attend, please feel free to contact us.

We would like to thank everyone for their attendance and look forward to our next steps together!

For more information about our work visit our website .

Find out more about the Good Prison Concept, here

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