Sonic Minds: an award-winning creative music programme delivered by Lewisham Music

A young muslim woman smiling wearing a black hijab and a red top playing a brown guitar

By Programme Director, Keith Sykes, Lewisham Music.


Come with us as we look back over two years of Sonic Minds.

To date this two-year programme has already supported over 300 young people at elevated risk of experiencing a mental health issue.

The project combines collaborative songwriting, music production, music technology and drumming workshops facilitated by experienced music practitioners. The music and creative direction of this project has been co-designed and shaped by young people from the outset.

Lewisham Music has worked with a range of education, statutory and voluntary sector partners across Lewisham, Bromley and Bexley, including virtual schools, further education colleges and youth centres. All of these settings are identified as trusted services and safe spaces where care experienced, and displaced young people engage.

"When I hold the mic, it gives me super-powers!"

Young person, aged 17

The music and stories created by young people are shared with audiences through a ‘sonified brain sculpture’ created by sound artist Gawain Hewitt. The interactive sculpture features the music created by participants from across the programme, the installation has been exhibited in various South London civic and cultural venues.

Underpinning this whole programme has been an aim to better understand the connectivity and correlation between music-making and young people’s wellbeing. To help us explore this further Sound Connections were commissioned as our independent evaluation partner.


Join us to read the Sonic Minds Evaluation Summary Report

Our Sonic Minds Evaluation Summary Report 2021-23 takes an in-depth look at the creative music project’s positive impact on the mental health and wellbeing of young people, and provides some of our reflections for future developments.

In the report we share the scope of our work, give some project context, outline the programme headlines and who we worked with, and discuss the three parts of the independent evaluation giving insights into wellbeing outcomes, audience engagement, and observations, reflections, and recommendations from the evaluators.

"Music and creativity are a vital part of a child’s development and can be a powerful therapeutic tool for children who have experienced trauma. Music gives children an opportunity to express themselves, their identity, and their feelings, as well as a chance to interact with other children in an alternative setting to the formal classroom environment. Creative experiences can provide an outlet for children to be heard and to share their stories and ideas."

Assistant Headteacher – Lewisham Virtual School for Looked After Children

Watch This is Sonic Minds X Sonic Poem on YouTube to learn more about the programme. (Featuring project participants and spoken word artist Y.A Poet, filmed by Nico Creates)