We all know about the joy of playing and listening to classical music, and we’ve just come across a brilliant venture that uses the discipline to help the rehabilitation of offenders in prisons across the UK – Music in Prisons The Irene Taylor Trust.
The people the organisation works with face issues including homelessness, violence, drug abuse and mental health problems, which it helps tackle through providing week-long creative music projects for men, women and young people in prisons in England and Wales. It brings professional musicians in to help, with all projects available to everyone irrespective of ability or musical experience and culminating in a performance in front of friends, family, prison staff and other prisoners.
Set up in 1995 in memory of the late Lord Chief Justice Peter Taylor’s wife (who had a personal interest in music and penal reform), the trust has since delivered more than 170 projects in over 50 prisons, involving over 20,000 inmates and sharing performances with some 10,000 audience members.
The next performance to be put on on behalf of the trust is a programme of Faure, Mozart, Ravel and Cesar Franck, played by renowned violinist Tasmin Little and pianist Martin Roscoe, at The Sage Gateshead on June 15th.
We caught up with Tasmin to find out a little bit more. “I am really looking forward to my upcoming performance at The Sage, in aid of the Irene Taylor Trust. I have played many times in a variety of prisons, and, each time, I have found it to be very rewarding. The engagement and respect of the inmates has been a unique and often moving experience,” she said.
You can buy tickets to the event here. Hope to see you there!