Prisoners Make Music to “Unlock Their Creativity”A new government funded program is being set up to provide prisoners with music facilities to “unlock their creativity”.

In an experiment that lasted for three months, the Music in Time project helped prisoners create and record their own tracks with the help of professional musicians and technicians. The Music in Time project is being campaigned by Somerset music agency Superact.
 
The program, which will help get older prisoners “out of their shells” was a result of an experiment conducted by the scientists at the University of the West of England (UWE). The experiment showed that the letting prisoners create and record their own music was effectively improving the mental states of prisoners. Scientists said this would make them more sociably acceptable on their release.
Dr Nick de Viggiani, who headed the study at UWE, said that the program was successful, and brought a lot of improvements just after the first round of sessions.
 
Patsy Lang, project manager for Superact, said that the prime aim of the program was to make prisoners build confidence and self esteem, develop new relationships, learn new skills and imbibe a sense of self achievement.
 
“Given such a challenging schedule to meet and the security and time constraints, it was highly successful in drawing in so many participants, especially older prisoners,” she said.
 
“We found sessions broke down barriers between the age groups - there's a true respect that exists between musicians.
 
“Inside, people tend to stay in their age social or ethnic groups but that broke down quickly and people began to respect and learn about each other.

“I could see friendships and communication growing and these new relationships will carry on long after the musicians have left.

“There is little or no provision for the over fifties in the prison regime and if life for that group is difficult on the outside, it's doubly so inside.”

The prisoners produced tracks ranging from various genres, including rock, rap and reggae.
The program has been implemented at Dartmoor, Exeter, Channings Wood, Eastwood Park and The Verne, and is sponsored at Department of Business, Innovation and Skills.
 
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