Visit to Southbank 1

Young Producers: Getting inspired for Crossroads

Earlier this week Young Producers Demi and Marleigh joined Jake and Matt for a field trip to the Southbank Centre to get some inspiration for their Crossroads event on 2nd Dec (put it in your diary!) from Soojin Suh Coloris Rrio as part of the London Jazz Festival!

Young Producer’s blog

Session 4 involved discussing set design in relation to our lighting and props, creating an elevator pitch for the event and for ourselves as young creatives.

As the venue is a church I feel as though it was very important for us to establish how we design the space to make it look more like a music performance venue. We were informed of our budget to make this happen and Demi got to work with finding props online that would help us. As artistic producer, Demi also created images that we could use to post on the ITT’s instagram stories alongside questions to ask prospective audience members.

Meanwhile, I came up with a few questions to ask Rob, to compliment the elevator pitch that we created. As Rob is one of our music leads and a very important part of the team, I look forward to hearing his responses and working on the music for the event on the 2nd December.

After a quick bite of some street food by the Southbank Centre, the night was rounded off with watching a jazz gig in the Purcell Room which we had mixed reviews about. The venue was quite intimate and with purposeful lighting along with a neatly designed stage, the gig left us young producers with a few things to consider for our own event.

For me, being able to link what you learn to real life (as we were able to by watching the jazz performance) has helped me to remember and evaluate what I’m learning along the way as we put it into practice. This is something that I’ve really enjoyed being able to do so far and I look forward to continuing to do so.

Marleigh, Young Producer

Visit to Southbank 1

Join us at 7pm on Thursday 2nd December for their event ‘Crossroads’ at beautiful music venue The Old Church (Stoke Newington, N16 9ES).

The event is FREE but please RSVP to so we have an idea of expected numbers.

Crossroads flyer


Cover art for New Friends Old Enemies

New Making Tracks release! New Friends Old Enemies

In October 2021 a group of young people from East London took part in Making Tracks, formed a band and together created a set of songs written from their own perspectives and life experiences titled ‘New Friends Old Enemies’, as well as producing their own podcasts ‘Creepy Pasta of London’ and ‘The Life and Times of Charles Stuart’ – an in-depth interview by Radu and Conrad with ITT musician Charles!

This project was run in partnership with The Prince’s Trust’s Get Started programme and supported by Youth Music.

Featuring young artists: Arry Moss, AH, Cash ARB, Conrad James, J. Marden, Lesser Compact, Abraham, Mathew, Radu

Supported by ITT Musicians: Charles Stuart, Emma Williams, Tom Wright-Goss

CD artwork by Keir Cooper

Young Producers blog: reaching the Crossroads

The Young Producers programme is all about supporting young people to curate a live music event to showcase young artists; the project was forced to take a hiatus in 2020 for obvious reasons – so we’re doubly excited to introduce our 2021 Young Producers: Demi, Mariana and Marleigh.

Join us at 7pm on Thursday 2nd December for their event ‘Crossroads’ at beautiful music venue The Old Church (Stoke Newington, N16 9ES).

The event is FREE but please RSVP to so we have an idea of expected numbers.

The Young Producers have jointly put together a blog below about their experiences so far…

Initially, Marleigh had a lot of different expectations for the project. He was surprised to find that the venue was already booked, but was thankful for the support and was looking forward to branching out his skills, always looking to develop himself as an artist and music producer.

Demi was excited about learning more of the marketing side of things and gaining experience to apply to her career as a DJ.

Session 1

The first session took place online, a first time for the Young Producers scheme, and was focused on creating an event initial idea and understanding the event timeline and our roles. After meeting everyone, we played an icebreaker exercise in which we were given a secret themed event which the other Young Producers had to guess from asking questions. We had to think about the target audience, location, venue, lighting, music, seating plan and more to work it out.

The morning of the session ended with a talk from freelance producer Marie.

Demi: “I’ve met Marie before on Making Tracks, she’s really cool and gives really good advice as a freelance producer.”

We also decided our roles in the group. There’s an Artistic Producer, a Communications producer and an operation producer in our team; we have all been working together and merging ideas but also have our own responsibilities to develop the project.

The rest of the session was focused on researching our ideas and presenting them to the group, sourcing images, fonts and text that inspired us. We created a mind map of initial ideas to work with and drew connections between what we brought.

Marleigh: “I realised from the session that there’s a lot of things I don’t know, but was looking forward to learning more.”

It was very different and challenging to not be in the same room when starting this project, when you’re not there in the space with other creatives it is definitely a different atmosphere, but we were still able to showcase our ideas to the group and start the process of creating a theme for our event.

Session 2

The second session was all about creating the event flyer and learning more about how to market and develop the brand of an event. When discussing our initial ideas from session 1, we decided to ask the group “What’s important to you in your life?” and started from there.

We found that our thoughts related really well and started to focus on the idea of ‘road to self-discovery’. Marleigh shared with the other Young Producers that this reminded him of Big Zuu’s album cover for Navigate, and that it shared a lot of common themes. From this, we found our imagery for the event of roads, signs and streets to relate to the idea of finding your own path, and came up with the event name: Crossroads.

Marleigh: “It felt like a bit of a rollercoaster, and at times proper stressful. As ideas were flying around it felt uncertain, but when the drafts of the flyers began being sent through by Demi the theme really started to come together.”

Mariana: “The last two sessions have been really informative and really helpful as I understood more about creating and putting up an event. We looked at social media, creating a theme and event marketing.”

Session 3

Today was our third session of the Young Producers programme; so far we have down our ideas for the theme, the venue where the performance will take place and we’ve also created our flyer that will promote the event on social media.

We went to visit the venue and we had to think and decide where the audience will be and where the artists are going to be performing. We also had to think about any restrictions that may be in place, if we wanted to include refreshments, capacity considerations and any creative ideas for the background and stage setting.

There’s more work to be done and we’ll give you an update on how things are going.

Don’t forget to RSVP for the performance!

The Young Producers Team

Crossroads flyer

Live scribe example

Making Tracks online live scribe

The majority of our #MakingTracks projects since March 2020 have taken place online, meaning they don’t end with the usual live performances – instead there has been an online sharing of the new songs the young people have produced with our wonderful musicians.

Earlier this year, artist Annalees Lim created a beautiful record of four of these celebrations, from projects run in partnership with the Prince’s Trust ‘Get Started’ in Kent, Bristol and Manchester. Annalees visually recorded the responses of the online audiences to the music, compiled in these vibrant time-lapse animations to a soundtrack of clips of the original songs by the young artists – watch a compilation below.

These online projects were supported by Youth Music and Charles Hayward Foundation.

You can listen to the songs in full on the Making Tracks soundcloud page

Feel the positivity cover

Making Tracks online

At the start of the pandemic, rather than completely closing up, we decided to find ways to adapt our projects while restrictions were in place.

Moving our Making Tracks projects online has been a great success. Over the last year we’ve run 7 online projects and 2 adapted in-person covid-safe projects, with partners The Prince’s Trust, Newham YOT and SPEAR London.

“You learn about music and you learn something about yourself too,” Making Tracks participant

“I’ve gained so much confidence and feel more open to speaking to people I don’t know too well,” Making Tracks participant

We’ve also worked online with former Making Tracks participants to achieve Silver Arts Awards and on projects for our 25th Anniversary Celebrations and Black Lives Matter collaboration.

ITT 25th Birthday Show still

Making Tracks artists feature on 25th Birthday Show

We’re very proud to present our 25th Birthday Show, which streamed live on Youtube Premiere on 25/11/20, marking the very day ITT officially came into being 25 years ago. Featuring stunning performances from musicians we first met on our programmes, who also speak movingly about the impact working with us has had for them. There might be something in our eye…

This all started from Artistic Director Sara’s living room as she worked out how to set up the first Music in Prisons projects – Covid-19 meant that rather than putting on the big live show we’d hoped to, instead we brought the celebrations direct to your living room!

Since those early days we’ve expanded our work into the community to also support former prisoners (Sounding Out) and young people via Making Tracks; we’ve collaborated with wonderful organisations including the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, Clean Break, Synergy, the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, to name but a few; we’ve won awards including the British Composers’ Award, Royal Society of Public Health Arts & Health Award, and in October 2020 we were shortlisted for a Royal Philharmonic Society ‘Impact’ Award for the Lullaby Project.

Most importantly, we’ve made original music with thousands of people who wouldn’t otherwise have had the opportunity, bringing joy, inspiration and increased aspiration as a result. They have gone on to incredible things, including performing at prestigious venues and learning facilitation skills from our project team musicians which have allowed them to share their passion for music.

The film features two former Making Tracks artists being interviewed and performing – press play below to see each of their sections:



Black Lives Matter artwork

Black Lives Matter international collaboration

We are proud to present these new pieces created as part of an international collaboration between the Irene Taylor Trust and Civic Orchestra of Chicago to explore themes around the Black Lives Matter movement.


In response to not being able to work together in person, ITT and our partners in Chicago devised an ambitious online project, utilising the skills of 23 people including the ITT project team, young musicians from the Civic Orchestra of Chicago and a number of lyricists and vocalists who have benefitted from ITT’s prison and community programmes, including former Making Tracks participants.

The driving force behind the project was the desire to respond in a creative way to the events surrounding the Black Lives Matter movement, and to create a set of 6 new songs focusing on past events, the present day and our hopes for the future. Groups met online to devise musical and lyrical ideas and structures, worked offline to create and record their individual parts and then came back together online to hone the ideas and shape each song into its final form. The result was 6 very different but extraordinary songs, all beautifully crafted and unique in content.

The project was supported by

The Leche Trust 

Charles Hayward Foundation

Young Producers film: Spirit of Utopia

In autumn 2019 we began working with three new Young Producers, who had all previously taken part on our Making Tracks programme. Together they devised, developed and delivered their own music event, ‘Spirit of Utopia’, to provide a performance platform for other young musicians and  “an evening of meaningful happiness” for the audience at The Old Church, Stoke Newington, on 21/11/19.

In the words of Lucine and Montell, this is the story of how they created ‘Spirit of Utopia’.

The Young Producers project was supported by The London Community Foundation ‘ESDF Saving London Lives’

Making radio

The Undisputed – album and video

We’re proud to present the album ‘Journey’ – created by a group of young people from East London who formed band ‘The Undisputed’ on Making Tracks this summer. The project was run in partnership with The Prince’s Trust Get Started.

As well as producing the original music, they created their own radio shows, ‘Jazzy K’ and ‘SKJK’, which are included at the end of the playlist.

They also worked with Mediorite to create this vibrant video for their track ‘Melodic in the Mist’ – featuring Jahanzeb, Kye and Jazz, edited by Jahanzeb.