Marginalised youth, criminal justice and performing arts: young people's experiences of music-making

Andrew Parker, Naomi Marturano, Gwen O'Connor, Rosie Meek

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In recent years a plethora of arts-based projects and interventions targeting marginalised children and young people have emerged a number of which have focussed specifically on music-making. Resulting research has often highlighted the social, psychological and emotional benefits involved although few studies have explored the connections between music-making and mentoring with young people in educational contexts. This paper comprises a small-scale, qualitative study of one such intervention in a secondary school in the South of England. Analysis of transcripts from one-to-one interviews with participants (pupils) aged 11–17 years reveals various ways in which music-making facilitated positive change such as increased confidence, improved attitudes towards teachers and peers, feelings of calm, and better communication skills. The paper concludes by suggesting that music-making activity may confer significant psycho-social benefits for young people, particularly when combined with mentoring support.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1061-1076
Number of pages16
JournalJournal of Youth Studies
Issue number8
Early online date5 Mar 2018
Publication statusPublished - 2018


  • Performing arts
  • qualitative research
  • music-making
  • mentoring
  • marginalised youth

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