A Participatory Evaluation of Community MusicWorks
In the fall of 2009, Community MusicWorks (CMW) completed an 18-month participatory evaluation funded by The Rhode Island Foundation.
The evaluation found that when students are highly engaged, CMW helps them forge a motivated, curious, and engaged inner life. It also fosters qualities of persistence, musicianship, personal agency, and participation in a wider world. There is evidence that even outside of CMW programming, music becomes an organizing force in students’ lives, focusing their activities and relationships. The program can also result in young people learning habits of hard work, investment, and mutual responsibility.
The key question for CMW is how more students can become persistent and engaged in deep and lasting ways. Based on suggestions from the evaluation, CMW is working to increase practicing, make progress markers clearer, encourage family participation, and create outside performing opportunities. We are also expanding opportunities for students to become involved outside of their weekly lessons.