When a prisoner leaves our sessions, either because they are released from prison or moved to a prison that doesn’t have Changing Tunes, they are asked to fill in a questionnaire. These questionnaires help us asses the efficacy of our work, in particular how we effect prisoners’ lives during their time in prison. Having direct feedback helps us to judge how best to meet the needs of those we work with.
The following comments are taken from these questionnaires and are genuine responses from prisoners to the work of Changing Tunes. Names have been changed to protect identities.
We also recommend reading Prof. Shadd Maruna’s evaluation of our work, which you can download here: The Great Escape.pdf
“Changing Tunes totally changed my life, increased my self confidence and I managed to achieve things I never thought possible. Helped me address aspects of my Post Traumatic Stress disorder. Has helped me develop an appreciation for team-work and increased confidence in my own abilities. It also taught me a lot of patience.”
“When I’m released Wednesdays will seem strange because I shan’t be playing guitar with you guys. I can’t express how important this has been in my six months in prison and I know all the other guys feel exactly the same. Thanks for helping me accomplish more with my bass playing…my skills have just excelled.”
“Changing Tunes has played a big part in helping me to believe in myself. The tuition I received was clear and easy to understand. I received help and lots of positive encouragement at every step which really boosted my confidence. I never realised that so many emotions could be changed through music and the workshop gave me the opportunity to express my emotions.”
“The tutor cultivated a very healthy climate of mutual respect, consideration and fairness, in which I felt totally comfortable and at ease in every respect in every session, to participate as much or as little as I wanted.”
“On occasion there were conflicts but they worked through to obtain a positive outcome I think everyone’s opinion was valued.”
“It was brilliant and very rewarding, and gave me a sense of wholeness and that I was a valued member of the group.”
“The classes were both educational and therapeutic. Perfect for the sometimes soul-destroying environment of prison life. Changing Tunes was my weekly breath of fresh air.”
“I never realised that so many emotions could be changed through music, and the workshop gave me the opportunity to express my emotions”
“As a victim of serious abuse, whose self-confidence/esteem, expression and creativity was totally quashed/battered, these workshops have been invaluable for me.”
“It really helped to pass time positively, doing something I enjoy, sharing it with others, give others enjoyment in hearing music. It lifted your spirits to have something to look forward to. A good social network arose out of the music – mutually supportive in the prison setting.”
“Music has made me want to attend college on release and has made me have more confidence in myself. It’s a must for getting inmates involved because it takes anger and negativity away from us.”
“People come together who would possibly never have done if not for this workshop. And staff can see a different side to you other than just ‘Ian the Criminal’.”
“It’s a fantastic way to release any sadness you have in a positive way through music, and many prisons and prisoners could benefit.”