Blackboard Music Project Evaluation Report

Blackboard Music Project has had great benefits for the entire Young Audiences Music field
29 Mar, 2017

In December 2016 the Blackboard Music Project came to an end. Since November 2014, the partners have cooperated and fought hard to make more and better young audiences music concerts; to exchange players and music groups, to build competencies among YAM professionals in order to  develop and strengthen the entire YAM field.

The YAM-project is really important for every part of Europe, especially for the building of the European culture. It’s something that are gathering us and not dividing us. So starting this kind of project is really important for all the countries, and all the people meeting and working on the most important thing in the world – working on the youth. Working on the children. Parter, Macedonia

The ten partners - JM International and nine member organisations - from eight countries around Europe have met at three YAMsessions and five national showcases around Europe. 

  • More than 200 high class YAM concerts have taken place as a part of the project activities.
  • Almost 8000 children and around 1700 industry professionals have experienced the many concerts.
  • The project events have taken place all over Europe: in Croatia, Finland, Denmark, France, Norway, Sweden and Belgium. 
  • Each partner has sent between one and three YAM productions abroad to perform at a YAMsession or a national showcase in a different country.
  • 24 YAM productions have been exchanged across borders, paving the road for increased mobility among YAM productions in the years to come.

The two major outputs of the project have been the establishment of YAMsession and of YAMspace, this very site:

  • YAMsession as the annual international event for professionals in the field introducing the best of YAM concerts, a dynamic producer’ forum along with expert talks and panels .
  • YAMspace as the common platform consolidating the joint knowledge accumulated before and during the project in one place: a place to connect, to ask questions and to discuss. 
I really feel that YAM opens a window and gives us inspiration. Looking into different cultures with artists creating and performing for children of all ages is so important for our world today, Producer, Iceland

Overall, the evaluation report shows that the project has successfully established and consolidated YAM as 

a serious, professional field with a large and solid international network in which players – producers, organisers and musicians – can exchange concerts, concepts and ideas and cooperate across borders. There is a strong sense of going from enthusiastic loners in different countries to a professional community with a lot to share. This can have a huge impact in the long run for the YAM work where a critical mass is of great importance for lifting quantity and quality of the activities – a critical mass that cannot possibly be established within the respective countries separately" 

Conclusion of the project evaluation report: YAM: You need trust!

Helping organisations gain attention nationally

The YAM-network and the project outputs provide a solid base, in which YAM organisations across countries can stand united and consequently gain momentum in promoting YAM.

The project network and activities have led to partners with few or no activities starting new programs

We are getting inspired by the other countries, and have applied to our government for a little fund to support children and young audience music development. Partner Macedonia

Similarly, the hosting of a YAMsession can also contribute positively to the national recognition of YAM organisations:

The status of our organisation and the legitimacy of our concerts have risen in our country. Partner, Croatia

Increased cooperation and exchange across borders

Examples of extended cooperation and exchange across countries and organisations have already taken place as a consequence of the project activities. 

  • In September 2016, the Croatian partner held a workshop inviting a Norwegian and a Swedish Producer to work with four different Croatian YAM Productions, an extension of the cooperation initiated in the Producers' Forum at YAMsession 2015.
  • The Norwegian partner has started a cooperation with a Dutch productions house, a contact that was initiated at YAMsession 2015:
  • In January 2017, Norwegian organisers visited the JMFrance Presentation Day to discover new productions.
I think as the project has continued, one of the things that we have become aware of is that we get a much bigger dividend from the growth of the producers who have been involved in the project, and that that kind of knowledge about production and those kind of competencies is actually a bigger dividend than just exchanging musicians between countries. Partner, Norway

Blackboard and YAM will continue...

But even if the official Blackboard Music Project period is over, YAM will continue to educate, inspire and develop, through YAMsessions and this very site, so that children and young audiences will get more magic musical moments through YAM concerts.

More Blackboard details

Do you want to know more about the poject and the evaluation?

Download the full evaluation report here.

Or a handy folder outlining the major project achievements here

Photo credits to Lars Opstad

Leave a Comment