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Taking OffTaking Off

A networked approach to promoting meaningful musical pathways for young Londoners facing challenging circumstances.


The research we've done through Taking Off has resulted in 5 key findings and recommendations:

  1. That so few medium sized organisations responded suggests that many of the specialised providers working with participants facing particular challenges are small, with their reach limited by locality. Where a lack of provision for certain participant groups is identified, embedding Grassroots projects from smaller organisation in multiple areas (where this is not already happening) could be a solution.
  2. The success of progression in this context should be measured based upon the individual circumstances of the participants, their personal desires, needs and capacities.
  3. With staff capacity being a significantly limiting factor to making more progression happen, the true cost of supporting progression should become a normal and recognised part of funding applications.
  4. The number of Early Years projects in challenging contexts was low. Where appropriate more music making with Early Years participants facing challenging circumstances should be supported.
  5. Some organisations were not aware of the challenges faced by their participants. Further research would be beneficial in order to determine whether or not gathering this kind of information would help organisations to better support progression for participants in challenging circumstances.

Read the Survey Report ›

Young Researchers' recommendations​:

  1. More staff capacity is needed to keep fully on top of changes in circumstances of participants, which can change daily.
  2. More early music education opportunities are needed, so that no children miss out on the benefits that come with starting to make music from an early age.
  3. Staff could be better equipped to signpost meaningfully and appropriately.
  4. Music in and out of school needs to be valued equally if all young people are going to have the opportunity to progress.

Model of Progression

In Taking Off we talk about Grassroots, Intermediary and Next Step organisations. This relates to a model of progression created by Fairbeats! in their Pathfinders Report.

As shown in the diagram below, an Intermediary embeds a culture of music-making in a Grassroots (non-music specialist) organisation, and is then able to support participants to access opportunities provided by Next Step organisations (those with a broader, open-access remit such as Music Education Hubs and venues). It's a process of moving from a Grassroots setting where particular needs are supported and looked after, to being able and confident to participate in projects with less targeted support.

Pathfinders Diagram

Key Stats

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Definition of Indices of Multiple Deprivation

The Indices of Deprivation 2015 provide a set of relative measures of deprivation for small areas (Lower-layer Super Output Areas) across England, based on seven different domains of deprivation:

For more information see: - 2015 Statistical Release (PDF 1.5MB)