Evidence shows that participation in Drum Works can help to increase resilience & self-belief, improve educational engagement, develop social & collaborative skills, and improve mental health & wellbeing.

Around 600 people participate in Drum Works every week, 85% of whom are young people under 25. Many of the young people we work with are currently experiencing hardship due to the cost-of-living crisis and are still feeling the after-effects of the pandemic, especially with regards to their mental health and wellbeing. We work with schools and local partners to identify those  in our community who will benefit most, including from lower socio-economic backgrounds; at risk of exclusion; living with disabilities/special educational needs; with social/emotional/mental health needs.

In addition to carrying out our own ongoing evaluation, we have collaborated with external partners on a variety of studies examining our impact. You can read a selection of our impact reports below.

Exchanging Notes

We were selected to be part of Youth Music and Birmingham City University’s long-term research programme Exchanging Notes, published 2019. This study explored the impact of regular music-making for young people at risk of disengagement, low attainment or exclusion over four years. Drum Works was one of 10 projects selected to work with a team from Birmingham City University to research the impact using a mixed-method approach. The findings from the research, published in 2019, demonstrate that music in schools has the potential to help young people at risk of exclusion to re-engage with education; develop confidence, resilience and self-belief; and create a more positive attitude to learning.

Drum Works in Schools

This evaluation report on Drum Works at The Warren School from December 2021 is an example of our work in our mainstream partner schools. Key themes arising from the evaluation included:

  • Drum Works elicits a strong sense of commitment and engagement from participants, leading to improved school attendance and improved focus and concentration in other lessons.
  • Participants feel a strong sense of belonging and benefit from the collaborative nature of Drum Works sessions.
  • Participants gain creative and transferable skills that are useful in other school subjects and in their lives more broadly.
  • Drum Works sessions are accessible, non-judgemental and fun.
  • Participants feel that Drum Works helps with head space and wellbeing.

Kantar TNS Study

In summer 2017 we commissioned Kantar TNS to conduct a research study into the impact of Drum Works. The conclusion of this research was that Drum Works is effective at inspiring creativity, building social cohesion and empowering young people in the following ways:

  • The participatory and inclusive environment fosters a sense of belonging and builds confidence in individuals.
  • Individuals can experience personal achievement and excellence through performances, which can motivate them to strive for achievement in their academic studies.
  • Through mixing students of different groups during sessions, students will form friendships across year groups, backgrounds and schools, expanding their social circle beyond their immediate environment.
  • Participatory creative processes encourage students to share their own ideas and give them a sense of ownership, originality and pride.
  • Individuals can develop their creativity and make music with Drum Works regardless of their previous experience and background.

Guildhall School Music Therapy report on Drum Works at The Garden school

In spring 2019 the Guildhall School of Music & Drama’s Music Therapy department carried out a short research study into our work at The Garden, an autism-specialist school in Hackney.