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Our expertise

 Our four main areas of expertise are: Evaluation and Impact; Youth Voice and Participation; Needs Analysis and Strategic Planning; Equality, Diversity and Inclusion.


Evaluation and Impact

We provide tailor-made evaluations to help you reflect on what you do, gather robust evidence and make the case for your work.

“You were great at interrogating the purpose and focus for this piece of work, and ensuring that we had clarity on what was being evaluated. Communication along the way was great, you were punctual and organised, and took the piece of work on at late notice – thank you.”

– Natalie Ellis, Learning Director, Saffron Hall (2018)

How we can help:

  • Creating Theory of Change and evaluation frameworks
  • Designing data collection tools – e.g. interviews, questionnaires, focus groups
  • Gathering data
  • Creative evaluation
  • Processing and analysing data
  • Writing evaluation reports and executive summaries

Our evaluation consultancy projects include:

  • Wigmore Hall Learning Partner Schools Programme
  • National Open Youth Orchestra
  • Live Music Now Inspire special schools programme
  • The Voices Foundation Singing Schools
  • Action for Hope music schools (Lebanon and Jordan)
  • Artslink Children in Care programme
  • NYMAZ Connect: Resound
  • BBC Ten Pieces

In 2019 we produced an evaluation report for Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra’s Change Makers programme, which you can read here as an example of our reporting work:

“The consultant, Jennifer Raven, was able to collect an incredible amount of data and to weave it all together to produce a report that is both comprehensive and critical. It was also very important that she understood and appreciated the subject matter while maintaining the needed distance in order to produce a non-biased analysis of the schools.” Basma El Husseiny, Director, Action for Hope (Lebanon) (2019)

 “I believe that we have already secured at least one additional grant thanks to the collaboration and received good feedback from another possible funder. We are much clearer about how to build an evaluation that will satisfy current funders, inspire confidence in potential funders and, in the long term, enable us better to advocate for our work.” Susie York Skinner, Director of Development, Gabrieli (2018)


Youth voice and Participation

One of our greatest strengths is Youth Voice & Participation. Since 2010 through the development of Wired4Music, our network for people age 16-25, Sound Connections has integrated youth voice into its own practice, created a model of best practice, and disseminated learning to a range of cultural and music education organisations. We have youth voice resources on our ReWired website, and our youth voice work has been featured in the Roundhouse and Arts Council England’s new youth governance guide.

How we can help:

  • Staff and trustee youth voice training – introduction to youth voice, facilitation skills, youth voice for senior managers and trustees
  • Facilitating projects and focus groups with young people
  • Creating youth voice strategies
  • Needs analysis with young people

Our Youth Voice consultancy gives you:

  • Greater understanding of young people’s needs, experiences, ideas and opinions
  • A stronger offer and better engagement with young people
  • Information in support of funding applications
  • Greater understanding, knowledge, skills and confidence for embedding youth voice and working collaboratively with young people

Our youth voice consultancy projects:

  • Youth voice consultation, training and strategy for a range of Music Education Hubs in London (Hackney, Newham, Tower Hamlets, Brent, Enfield, Barnet, Haringey and Havering) and nationally (Kent, Brighton, Essex, Bristol and Gloucestershire); arts organisations (Hofesh Shechter, Creative Schools); and heritage organisations (English Heritage)
  • Developed and delivered a national youth voice consultation around arts and culture for Arts Council England (July 2017) and around history and heritage for English Heritage (present)
  • Setting up youth forums and young producers groups with Barbican Guildhall and English Heritage

 “Sound Connections is the only organisation with the sensibility to understand the environment to such an all-encompassing degree. Importantly they have the ability to cut through the noise and get straight to the heart of what young people want and need”. Bristol Music Education Hub (2016)


Needs Analysis and Strategic Planning

Our consultancy offer around strategy and implementing organisational change has had a transformative impact.

Recent examples include:

  • Needs analysis and music education strategies for Bristol, Islington and Newham Music Education Hubs
  • Vocal strategy for Essex Music Education Hub
  • Review of the Royal College of Music Sparks programme

 “Sound Connections approached this ambitious work with a wonderful balance of sensitivity and rigour, extending our networks and inviting the participation of a very broad range of stakeholders. [The Feasibility Study] has proved invaluable in helping us develop and articulate a robust foundation on which to build the world’s first disabled-led national youth orchestra.” Barry Farrimond, Open Up Music (2017)


Equality, Diversity and Inclusion

Sound Connections is fully committed to working with organisations to embed the values of equality, diversity and inclusion and implement manageable and meaningful change. We worked with Brighton and Hove, Kent, Surrey, East and West Sussex to help them develop their thinking around developing a new strategy. This consisted of a day’s training, led by Sound Connections, with additional input from Arts Council England and Youth Music.

The aim of the day was to:

  • Provide senior leaders from hubs with the opportunity to hear from an organisational consultant specialising in EDI training
  • Hear about the wider context of EDI across music hubs nationally; to discuss the implications within and across teams
  • Review or draft individual hub EDI strategies
  • Equip hub leads with the knowledge and confidence to develop local EDI plans alongside internal colleagues within respective partner organisations

Sound Connections has also been working with other organisations, as part of their role within the Alliance for Musically Inclusive England, to support their work in this area.


Our Clients










greenwich music school


London Music Masters


OpenUp Music


saffron hall


the music works


Our Consultancy Values

  • Thoroughness and attention to detail
  • Listening
  • Partnership and collaboration
  • Knowledge and understanding of the sector
  • Trust and integrity


Consultancy Team and Associates 

Consultancy projects are led by the Sound Connections core staff team here alongside a brilliant team of Associates


Abigail D’Amore



Abigail D’Amore is an independent music education consultant with expertise in informal and non-formal pedagogies and practice as a means of increasing student engagement and participation.


Maria Turley


Maria Turley is an independent arts consultant with a particular interest in supporting emerging artists, organisations, and programmes. She has expertise in strategy and planning, evaluation, funding, and partnership and project development. She has developed and supported participation programmes for arts organisations of all sizes, and was also a Relationship Manager for Arts Council England for six years.

Melissa Wong

Melissa Wong2


Melissa Wong is an independent consultant for the arts and cultural sector. Her work is grounded in a robust understanding of research and evaluation principles, and a keen interest to support a culture of evidence and learning.


Lawrence Becko


Lawrence Becko is an independent consultant and our Associate Project Lead for Youth Voice and Participation. He works with us on our participation strategy, training delivery and leadership development. His specialisms include creative programming, peer learning, cultural mapping, partnership-building and organisational development. He is an expert facilitator and accredited ILM Level 7 coach. With a background in the commercial music industry, he works across the creative and cultural sector in the UK and internationally.


Alison Porter



Alison is a creative producer & project manager working across the music, arts and education sectors with expertise in creative producing, partnership and project development, strategic planning and funding. Alison has worked with arts charities, music education hubs, festivals, music ensembles and producing companies.


If you are interested in exploring ways in which Sound Connections can help you and your organisation, please contact Director Philip Flood, or Deputy Director Jennifer Raven


Support our work with London's young music makers. Donate Now