"NOFA has driven me in a direction I thought I’d never explore, inspiring me to pursue orchestral performance and a degree in music. If the experience doesn’t go as far as impacting their career choices, it will still certainly build their social skills and prove to be an enjoyable journey." - NOFA flautist Matthew, now studying at RNCM

Find out more about the impact on our young musicians by visiting our Meet our Musicians page.

Impact Report 2017-2018

“It was great to work with the OFA team, the leaders and the young people on the Modulo evaluation. The charity took a rigorous but pragmatic approach to evaluation; they were open to learning as much as possible about the young people and teachers’ experiences of Modulo, always looking for things to improve as well as exploring the many benefits.” - Rosie Dow, Project Oracle research associate

Take a look at our 2017-2018 Impact Report - we’re so pleased to share with you our achievements from the past year, and our plans for the future. This has been our busiest year to date, working with inspirational young people and music leaders from the South West of England to the far north of Scotland and taking bold steps on our journey towards a music education sector accessible to all young people, regardless of their background and circumstances.

Click here to download the full PDF version: Impact Report 2017-2018

Previous Impact Reports

Impact Report 2016-2017

"It's great to see how [Orchestras for All has] developed over the last five years and I've admired their determination to make sure that their targeted programmes reach children and young people who wouldn't otherwise get the opportunity." - Matt Griffiths, CEO of Youth Music

Click here to download the full PDF version: Impact Report 2016-2017

Impact Report: The First Five Years

We are delighted to present our Impact Report 2011-2016, charting the first five years of our work. As the programmes of OFA have developed over the last five years, so too has our approach to impact measurement. We have always recognised the importance of rigorous impact evaluation across our programmes and we have used the findings to help us shape, guide and inform our work.

To date we have evaluated each of these programmes independently of one another and have developed and tested a variety of different approaches to evaluation. However, we are now moving towards a position where our three programmes are being evaluated under one organisation-wide impact framework. We are pleased therefore to present at the end of this report our new OFA Theory of Change and our plans for evaluating all three programmes against this

Click here to download the full PDF version: Impact Report 2011-2016

Theory of Change

"A Theory of Change is a diagram that explains how a programme has an impact on its beneficiaries. It outlines all the things that a programme does for of its beneficiaries, the ultimate impact that it aims to have on them, and all the separate outcomes that lead or contribute to that impact. A Theory of Change should not refer to the scale, growth plan or operational details of the organisation itself – it should effectively describe and explain the impact of the programme from a beneficiary’s point of view." – Nesta

Our Theory of Change builds on the research outlined in our Impact Reports above. Through a series of workshops and planning sessions (in part supported by Teach First and Project Oracle), we identified key trends and outcomes from each of our programmes. These outcomes have in turn been reflected in our Theory of Change. In doing so, we hope to present a framework that captures our impact as a whole organisation rather than on a programme by programme basis.

A Theory of Change is a live document - check out the most recent version here. We have also created programme-specific Theories of Change to ensure that all of our work is aligned with our overall impact goals.

Read more

What effect does music have on young people?

‘Power of Music: a research synthesis of the impact of actively making music on the intellectual, social and personal development of children and young people’ (2010) Susan Hallam

'The impact of instrumental music learning on attainment at age 16: a pilot study' (2016) Susan Hallam and Kevin Rogers

What is the wider value of music education in society?

‘The Case for Cultural Learning: Key Research Findings’ (2011) Cultural Learning Alliance

What are the barriers to access facing young people?

’Youth Consultation’ (2017) Sound Connections / Arts Council England

’Changes in Secondary Music Curriculum Provision over time 2016-18/19’ (2018) Dr Ally Daubney and Duncan Mackrill, University of Sussex

‘Research into support for musical progression for young people from In Harmony programmes and other disadvantaged communities’ (2017) Susan Hallam and Susanne Burns

How do similar programmes compare? Creech et al (2013) review reports and research from 277 El Sistema-inspired programmes in 58 countries. Almost all of them demonstrate evidence of positive personal development such as commitment, determination, resilience, self-esteem, life satisfaction and focus, as well as positive evidence of social skills development such as teamwork, community spirit, belongingness and co-operation. Evaluation reports for programmes that support instrumental music-making and ensemble playing give evidence of both academic and social-emotional advantages of the participants. For example:

‘Evaluating Sistema Scotland’ (2015) Glasgow Centre for Population Health

‘Evaluation of In Harmony’ (2016) Susanne Burns

‘An Evaluation of NJSO CHAMPS’ (2015) Steven J. Holochwost