In harmony, Liverpool Philharmonic

Together In Harmony – Three Years of In Harmony Liverpool

The Royal Liverpool Philharmonic has published the Year 3 Independent Interim Evaluation Report for In Harmony Liverpool.

The report by the evaluation team of Dr. Susanne Burns and Paul Bewick aims to inform the development and continuation of In Harmony Liverpool in West Everton. It builds on the Year 2 Interim Report published in March 2011 by the same evaluation team.

In Harmony Liverpool was established following Liverpool Philharmonic’s successful bid to the Department for Education to deliver one of three national In Harmony pilot programmes, between January 2009 and March 2011. Now in its fourth year, it is currently funded through a mix of public, private and charitable sources including Arts Council England, Liverpool PCT, Paul Hamlyn Foundation, charitable trusts and individual donors.

Inspired by Venezuela’s celebrated El Sistema youth orchestra social programme, In Harmony Liverpool uses music through the orchestra to transform the lives of children and families in West Everton.

It encourages participation in music – through the West Everton Children’s Orchestra, West Everton Super Strings and chamber ensembles; daily music making in Faith Primary School in West Everton where 4.25 hours of school curriculum time have been given over to music-making, plus after school music activities in Faith School and Liverpool Philharmonic at the Friary in West Everton – to provide opportunities for local children to grow and develop socially and musically.

When In Harmony Liverpool began in 2009, Liverpool Philharmonic was working with 84 children at Faith Primary School children in West Everton. Today that number is 188 children and it includes children and young people up to 14 years old and their families throughout the West Everton community.

In addition to the headlines above, the report outlines key success factors that include:

• A focus primarily on one school, whilst also enabling any child and young person living in the West Everton community to get involved in the In Harmony Liverpool programme.
• High quality partnership working between Liverpool Philharmonic, Faith Primary School, the West Everton community, Liverpool Music Support Service and partner organisations including Liverpool Primary Care Trust and Liverpool Hope University.
• Leadership by the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic, ensuring a high profile for In Harmony Liverpool, with inspirational professional musicians providing outstanding music teaching and performance opportunities.

Peter Garden, Liverpool Philharmonic’s Executive Director (Learning) commented: “In just three years, the impacts of In Harmony Liverpool are already significant. However, it is still early days – the real, long term benefits of In Harmony will be achieved by maintaining this intensive and immersive approach to music making for a generation, and by fully supporting our amazing young people to fulfil their potential.

“The support of our partners has been critical to the programme’s ongoing development and success, from the children and families of West Everton, staff at Faith Primary School, the entire West Everton Community, Arts Council England, Liverpool Music Support Service, Liverpool PCT, Paul Hamlyn Foundation and other public and private investors. Liverpool Philharmonic is hugely grateful for their generosity and support.”

Dr Paula Grey, Director of Public Health for Liverpool commented: “Liverpool PCT is extremely proud to support the In Harmony Liverpool initiative as part of the Decade of Health and Wellbeing, and we’re delighted that it has exceeded its expected outcomes.

“We know from research that exposure to the arts and providing young people with an opportunity to take part in new activities, can not only aid their personal development but also has a positive impact on their wellbeing, helping to build confidence and self-esteem.”

Dr Susanne Burns commented: “In Harmony Liverpool continues on a highly positive trajectory and there is much to celebrate. There is strong evidence that the programme is exceeding its expected outcomes and there is compelling evidence that it provides an enriching musical education and improved academic attainment in other core curriculum areas.”

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