Youth Music Evaluation Builder

The Evaluation Builder allows you to select a variety of tools and create a personalised evaluation plan.
These tools have been designed to demonstrate the outcomes of your work with children and young people, indicating whether changes have occurred in musical ability, personal development and social development. They include a range of questionnaires/scales and qualitative methods such as focus groups.

The data you collect using these tools can indicate what outcomes have been achieved as a result of a project, along with explaining how this has happened and will help tell the story of a project and what can be learnt from it.

For more information about planning and evaluating a music-making project, please read Taking an outcomes approach: Guidance on Youth Music's Outcomes Framework.

You can find out about applying for Youth Music funding here.

Download the full Youth Music Evaluation Toolkit here. Alternatively, you pick and choose the tools you want to use by downloading the individual PDFs below.

Questionnaires

Using the questionnaires

This document gives detailed guidance about how to use the various questionnaires available.
It provides information about who should complete the questionnaires and when, how to collect and store the data, along with an introduction to some basic statistical analysis.

Download Using the questionnaires

Early Years Musical Assessment Scales

If you are running an early years project, you can use the Early Years Musical Assessment Scales (there are separate ones for children aged 0-2, 2-3, and 3-5), which should be completed by an early years practitioner, a music leader, or a parent (depending on how the project is being delivered).

These scales are based on work done by Nancy Evans for Youth Music and Sue Young at the University of Exeter.

Download Early Years Musical Assessment Scales

Musical Ability Scales: Young Musicians Development Scale

It’s likely that one of your intended outcomes will be an improvement in musical ability, therefore you could use:
For children aged 6-10: Young Musicians Development Scale

These scales are based on work done by the Institute of Education investigating musical ability.

Download Musical Ability Scales: Young Musicians Development Scale

Musical Ability Scales: Musical Development Scale

It’s likely that one of your intended outcomes will be an improvement in musical ability, therefore you could use:
For children and young people aged 11-18: Musical Development Scale

These scales are based on work done by the Institute of Education investigating musical ability.

Download Musical Ability Scales: Musical Development Scale

Youth Music Agency and Citizenship Scale

The Youth Music Agency and Citizenship Scale measures how much children and young people aged 11-18 feel in control of their lives, are able to make decisions, and feel connected to their communities.

Download this scale Youth Music Agency and Citizenship Scale

Youth Music Attitude and Behaviour Scale

The Youth Music Attitude and Behaviour Scale measures whether children and young people aged 11-18  feel they have developed skills such as working with others, punctuality and commitment.

Download Youth Music Attitude and Behaviour Scale
 

Youth Music Wellbeing Scale

The Youth Music Wellbeing Scale, based on work done by the University of Edinburgh and the University of Warwick, measures how children and young people have been recently feeling.

There is also a ladder measure (‘Cantrill’s Ladder’) used to capture overall wellbeing.

Download Youth Music Wellbeing Scale

Music Practitioner Scales

Two scales have been designed to capture the reflections of the music practitioner involved in the project: the Job Satisfaction Scale and the Professional Practice Scale.

These can be used to assess how those employed to deliver your projects feel about their work.

Download Music Practitioner Scales

Presenting your questionnaire findings

Once completed, it is important to communicate your questionnaire findings effectively. As well as using charts and tables, a explanations of what you are presenting also need including. Statistics never speak for themselves and you should be very open and clear about how you have interpreted them.

Download Presenting your questionnaire findings

 

Qualitative methods

Focus Groups

Focus groups can gather evaluation data and keep track of outcomes throughout a project.  They can offer an opportunity to gather a lot of data at once, as well as instigate debate and collect a range of opinions.  If used at different times across a project they can also show how things are progressing.

Download Focus Groups

Interviews

Interviews (whether structured, semi-structured, or completely ‘open’) are very common in project evaluations.  They provide an opportunity to get a large amount of detail about a particular aspect of project delivery. One common description of an evaluation interview is a ‘conversation with a purpose’.

Download Interviews

Observation and diaries

Observation can establish what skills, behaviour and interactions are like at different stages of a project. Diaries can be a used to reflect at key stages of, or throughout, a project. Diaries are particularly well suited to recording change since people are asked to consider their thoughts about their skills (or other people’s skills), attitudes, etc. at different stages in time.

Download Observation and diaries

Creative Methods

Most projects and sessions provided through Youth Music funding will involve some level of creativity.  It is therefore important to use creative evaluation methods wherever possible, for example using drums to get a response to a scale question in a questionnaire (where drumming very loudly means you strongly agree and drumming very quietly means you strongly disagree).

Download Creative Methods

 

Notes, Meeting Minutes and Emails

Many people are collecting evaluation material without even realising it, in the form of notes (in workbooks throughout project planning and development), meeting minutes, or emails exchanged between project workers or partners.  These types of data can provide useful, time-based, reflections and observations.

Download Notes, Meeting Minutes and Emails

 

Ethics and consent

Ethics and Consent

This document is a guide to ensuring appropriate consent is obtained during your evaluation activities, along with the ethical issues that need to be considered.

Download Ethics and Consent

Other resources

Inspiring Impact is a collaborative programme aimed at supporting organisations to know what to measure and how to measure.  The website has a range of free online resources and tools, including 'measuring up', which is a self-assessment tool you can use to improve your organisation's impact practice.

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