Our Story

Heavy Sound C.I.C. was founded in 2015 by Jordan Butler. Heavy Sound C.I.C. is a community interest company limited by guarantee, incorporated on the 22/05/2015 and governed by our articles of association.

We have previously worked with Glasgow Caledonian University, who ran a research project on the services we offer in order to establish the impact on young people. This was part of year long funding that we were awarded by the European Social Fund in association with Scottish Government. Glasgow Caledonian University fed back research results to Scottish and European Governments, and these results will be used to inform social policy.

Peer Reviewed Paper 1 (2018)

Community Orientated and Opportunity Learning (COOL) Music was a 12-month collaborative project between researchers at Glasgow Caledonian University and practitioners at the Edinburgh-based social enterprise Heavy Sound. The project began in October 2017 and involved 16 sessions of participatory music making with 32 ‘hard-to-reach’ young people (aged 12–17) aimed at increasing confidence and self-esteem and improving social skills. Using COOL Music as a case study, this article explores some of the challenges faced by community-based arts organisations tasked with delivering such interventions, contrasting COOL Music’s small-scale, targeted, community-based approach…

Screengrab of policy briefing

Scottish Government Policy Briefing 1 (2018)

Key message: Evaluation of COOL Music indicates that this community based music intervention and personally tailored programme, which uses lyric-writing and music-making activities to express emotions and tackle personal problems, creates an efficient platform to engage hard-to-reach young people. The one-to-one sessions, held with COOL Music participants, create a safe environment for young people to develop trust, self-confidence and new skills. Self-reported data suggests that the project contributes to enhanced positive feelings towards family, friends andparticipants’ future destination. Financially, to secure long-term sustainability of the intervention, a degree of core-funding is required.

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Scottish Government Policy Briefing 2 (2020)

Key Message: Evaluation of COOL Music indicates that a combined approach of alternative education1 delivered through a Community Music methodology1 is an effective way of reconnecting marginalised youth to local networks of care and learning. Music workshops enabled participants to begin opening up to facilitators. Once a trusting relationship had been established, facilitators pivoted to a mentoring role, sharing their knowledge, skills, and contacts. This sharing helped participants to develop a personalised learning and development plan that generated hope for the future, resolved social and emotional conflicts, and increased educational engagement. To support marginalised young people, policies should…

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This document can also be viewed on the Cambridge University Press website.