An Evaluation of Long-Term Impact on Program Participants
Community MusicWorks (CMW) is a resident string quartet, music learning center, and set of associated music programs in Providence, RI. Over a two-year period, Dennie Palmer Wolf and Steven Holochwost conducted an intensive, participatory evaluation designed to examine the effects of long-term participation on the young people who become involved with CMW. The evaluation was an opportunity to develop a set of innovative tools for capturing a wider-than-usual set of effects. These tools included:
- Analyses of students enrollment and persistence in the program.
- Lesson-embedded interviews between teachers and students about growth and challenges.
- Strategies for caregivers to map the highs and lows in their children’s musical learning.
- Social network diagrams that document how being a part of CMW has connected students to a wider world in and beyond the Providence community.
The findings describe the multiple ways in which musical participation may affect young people’s development in ways that go beyond those typically measured. This may include, for example, socioemotional strengths like persistence across difficulty and the building cultural and social capital.
The corresponding report, “If you are walking down the right path and you are willing to keep walking,” is available.
An Evaluation of Extending Our Reach Initiative
Team: Dennie Palmer Wolf, Rachel Panitch
Community MusicWorks (CMW) is a resident string quartet, music learning center, and set of associated music programs in Providence, RI. WolfBrown documented and evaluated Community MusicWorks’ Extending Our Reach Initiative, funded by the Mellon Foundation. That initiative featured a two-year fellowship for 20 diverse young classical musicians committed to designing and implementing programs that serve youth, families, and neighborhoods. The initiative included convenings, workshops, and conferences (Institute for Music and Public Service) involving 133 additional musicians from across the U.S. and Canada.