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ArtForms is taking part in a national programme of trauma-informed music nurture groups as part of Changing Tracks scheme. This action research pilot is a rollout of a programme pioneered by Hertfordshire Music Service to reduce school exclusions. For children and schools, the aims are to help struggling pupils gain confidence and make healthy social bonds that support them in schools and in life, and develop their musicianship as part of their identity and community. This project will also help ArtForms music service to grow our understanding and skills in inclusive music work, and to support music tutors to develop new skills for working with children facing barriers to music and learning. The projects runs for six months in one primary school.

Our Changing Tracks music nurture group at Bramley Park Academy comprises four young people who are learning rock band instrument skills and writing their own song to perform together. We are working with our pupils and their music leader, SENCO, support staff and families to bring about positive changes in behaviour, develop confidence and promote personal agency through teaching musical skills and working together as a group. By involving them in music-making we can also provide opportunities for further progression. Our research and reports on outcomes will help our ArtForms music teachers and others across the country to provide effective inclusive and nurturing music groups to more pupils who would otherwise struggle to be included.

Find out more information about Changing Tracks Music Nurture Groups Project nationally see the Nurture Groups resource section on the Changing Tracks website, and sign up to their e-newsletter or follow it on socials for inclusion resources and insights for and from music services. Changing Tracks is a programme of peer support and learning for and with music services wanting to improve equality, diversity and inclusion. It is run by Hertfordshire Music Service and backed by Youth Music, thanks to the National Lottery via Arts Council England.