Noise Solution case studies

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CASE STUDIES We see people, not problems

Behind every number is a real person, a family, a carer with a real story. We hear transformational stories on a weekly basis, of people who have turned their lives around because of our work.

Numbers are great, but….

Our platform and the way we work means that everyone we work with collates their own case study, showcasing their own successes and sharing those successes with people they have identified as important to them. We have collected some of these stories into this document.

Sophie was paired with Ipswich musician Jay, former bass player of Suffolk band Rosalita. She has always loved singing, song writing and piano, and has now had the chance to explore drums, bass guitar and 12-string guitar – as well as learning about the technical side of producing music.

“My tutor Jay has been great – I say tutor, but the sessions are very informal, which is the reason I like it so much,” she said.

“The Noise Solution sessions were amazing, and I will remember it for the rest of my life,” said Sophie. “It really has saved my life. It’s not therapy, and that’s why it worked for me. It is about human connection, and music –some sessions we just talked, others we were jamming away to Red Hot Chilli Peppers.

Nineteen-year-old Sophie said her experience of Noise Solution, an internationally recognised social enterprise providing digital youth work, was ‘simply amazing’. She has gone from often struggling to leave home, to preparing to play a live gig...and credits Noise Solution and her tutor, local musician Jay, for helping her to fulfil her Justpotential.afewmonths ago, Sophie, from Ipswich, had been in hospital with various mental health issues, and traditional art and music therapies had not made an impact. But she says her life has been ‘saved’ since being referred to Noise Solution.

“Sophie shares what she does on the online platform, and we can see what they do in the sessions - she is just laughing all the time! It gives young people an opportunity to get out and about and do things. It has been wonderful.”

Photo credit: Rue Hackett

Mum Patricia said: “Sophie has learnt about music in a fun way, and we’re so incredibly grateful to have had this opportunity. It was by chance that we found out about Noise Solution, and it turned out to the perfect fit.

“It’s helped me to be more confident and to realise my potential. I’m grateful that I’ve had the opportunity to experience it, and I’d like to help raise awareness of it because I want other people to be able to try it as well.”



“What I like is that the sessions aren’t always about me. It’s not that traditional power dynamic that you get in therapy, it’ more human.”

“I tried to go to college to study music, but it didn’t work,” he said. “I was depressed and struggling, I did the occasional gig but I was feeling low and had put on weight…it was a really difficult time for me.” He was referred to Noise Solution after hearing about it at college, and worked with musician Simon Glenister, who is also its founder and CEO.


Oscar went back to college and successfully applied to university – and has recently graduated with a first class degree from the University of Derby. He has a popular alternative music blog called ‘Needs More Cowbell’ and continues to work on his own tracks.

“It’s thanks to my work with Simon at Noise Solution that I ever even attempted to pursue a career in music,” he “Simonsaid. taught me the building blocks of writing music and lyrics, and gave me the opportunity to work in a professional music studio. I quickly fell in love with the process and many years later, I have a degree, a small but growing following, a debut album just weeks away and the knowledge that I will be successful in this mad industry one day. That’s no small feat.”

Oscar, 22, said his experience of Noise Solution, an internationally recognised social enterprise providing digital youth work, has changed his life and led to him thriving in the music scene and finding his purpose. Oscar said he struggled while growing up – acting out at school and not attending classes. He now knows this was down to not having been diagnosed with autism, but at the time he couldn’t understand why he found life so challenging. As a teenager, this led to him moving out of his family home, and into a hostel.

The power of music has helped to transform the life of a Derby musician – who now wants to raise awareness of the award-winning programme.


“Simon taught me how to make music using a computer,” said Oscar. “I created some music that I was really proud of, and Simon was really knowledgeable and nurturing during the sessions, so I started to feel more confident. The studio was really cool and I was enjoying the sessions. I went from playing bass guitar to writing my own music, which was a great feeling.”

#MentalHealth Kie

Seventeen-year-old Kie said his experience of Noise Solution, an internationally recognised social enterprise providing digital youth work, has changed the course of his life. As a 14-year-old, Kie had been struggling with his mental health following a family bereavement.

“I met up with Michael at the gym, we met in the coffee shop every week and then the sessions moved into a studio,” he said. “It was different to what I was used to, and it gave me a reason to get up and out…….Over the 10 weeks, I got to learn basic guitar and piano, and I was able to learn about the production side of music.”

Kie did the programme in 2019, and said he believes it gave him the skills to cope with the pandemic when it hit in early 2020.

“I wrote a lot of songs during the lockdowns, and used the time to work on my knowledge of writing and producing music. Without having done Noise Solution, my experience over the last two years would have been completely different. It helped me to deal with the pandemic. I would 100% recommend Noise Solution to other Mumpeople.”Kathleen said: “Noise Solution was brilliant – we had reached a point where we were so worried about Kie, but he completely engaged with the programme and enjoyed going to the sessions, and we got out cheeky Kie Dadback.”Tony said: “We were really impressed with the programme and want to raise awareness of it so more people can get access to it. It was great.”

Kie had not been able to engage with any therapies until he was referred to Noise Solution, which runs online and in-person sessions in Essex.

His parents Kathleen and Tony were increasingly concerned about him as he found it more and more difficult to find the motivation to get ready, leave the house or go to school. But now he is writing and releasing his own rap and pop music, has learnt to play instruments, and is looking forward to a career in music...and credits Noise Solution and his tutor, Michael, for helping him to fulfil his potential.

“It gave me confidence and I started to believe what I was capable of. It led to me writing my first song, and now I have released some music on Spotify, and the whole experience had helped me to determine what I want to be.”

Cheryl, Presley’s mum, said,


“The difference in him is unbelievable. He’s opened up, he’s optimistic and enjoying life. He speaks with clarity, can’t wait to talk to people and has made his own business cards and website.”bout it – I want everyone to listen to it! It’s really brought me out of my shell.”

Now Presley, who has Aspergers Syndrome, is working with a professional studio and has won an award in a national music competition, coming third against thousands of other entrants nationwide.

A Cambridge teenager says he has become a ‘whole new person’, thanks to the life-changing power of a local music course. Presley Peters, 17, said his sessions with Noise Solution not only encouraged him musically, but gave him a new-found confidence he never thought possible.


“Before I went to Noise Solution, I found it very hard to talk to people – not just about my music, but about anything,” he said. “I wouldn’t let anyone listen to my music in case they didn’t like it and that would ruin it for me…Now I love talking about it – I want everyone to listen to it! It’s really brought me out of my “Zoeshell.”was brilliant to work with – and she took me to a professional studio, Vertical Rooms, where I decided to play a couple of my tunes to the owner. I never would have done that before! Now I go once a month to an opening evening and chat with everyone and we all share our music.”

Presley is now set to study ICT at college in September and says he wants to keep music as a hobby.

An opportunity to record her own music has helped a young Suffolk singer to deal with her anxiety –and now she wants to spread the word. Rebecca Green found that listening to song lyrics during her sessions with Noise Solution made her realise that others shared her feelings and that she wasn’t alone.

Rebecca has always loved singing and song writing and has continued to jot down lyrics and ideas for songs.



“I’d love to do another course with them but it’s a question of funding. I’d like to help more people know about the courses so that they can get more funding.”

“The Noise Solution sessions helped me to feel less anxious and relax. Listening to lyrics with Saran made me realise that lots of people have feelings like mine.”

Rebecca took a one-to-one song writing course twice a week and was able to connect with Saran online, overcoming her fear of being seen on screen. She completed her course by going into the studio and professionally recorded the track she’d written herself.

When the world locked down in 2020, Rebecca’s mental health suffered. She struggled with zoom meetings and felt isolated and lonely. But when her community support worker referred her to Noise Solution, based in Bury St sheEdmunds,foundnew connections – and a new skill. Rebecca, 23, said working with musician and producer, Saran Headman, to create her own songs not only relaxed her but gave her a sense of achievement.

“My tutor was really helpful, it was fun. I learnt so much and I’d love to do another courseI know I can do better than the track I did last time!”

“It was clear that Jake trusted Simon from immediately after that first session. He came away with a feeling a selfworth. He was buzzing. In fact, he left every session buzzing, buzzing about something he had done, rather than because of something he had done to himself.”


“Had it not been for what Simon and Noise Solution had to offer at that moment in time, Jake’s story would have been very different. Jake comes from a very challenging background. He has nobody at home who is going to do anything to help him. He has no way of reading social signals and no self-esteem or self-belief to help him help himself. There was no obvious way any of the statutory services were going to get past step one. There was just no solid way to engage Jake in learning,” advises Jane.

The Noise Solution course was the first formal thing Jake had ever voluntarily completed in his life. Sticking with it for three months was a success story in itself. Emerging from the course with an Arts Award gave Jake the first official positive recognition he had ever received. Something to prove to himself (and to others) that he was successful. Increased self-esteem, respect and the start of a life plan, communicated via his lyrics, also emerged.

Jake had no qualifications, no self-esteem and no routine. Returning to mainstream education following time spent in a young offenders institute, was not easy for him, or for the school. In spite of a raft of support workers from various statutory and voluntary services, no one really knew where to start trying to help him. Until Jane, the deputy head of learning support at his school learnt about Noise Solution.

In fact, the professionals who joined Jake at his last session to celebrate his success all agreed that Jake could become a great role model encouraging and teaching others to make music too.

It was not all plain sailing though. Although Jake looked forward to the sessions every week and loved visiting the professional recording studio where some of the sessions were run (because it made him feel that people were actually taking him seriously), life did get in the way on one occasion.

“Noise Solution should be something schools like ours have all the time. Music is a powerful therapeutic approach. Linking music therapy to a solid education standard in the way that Noise Solution does is a fantastic innovation. I’m glad that we didn’t let ‘where’s the money coming from’ be a barrier to us accessing the service. I’m glad that we gave Jake this opportunity. I’m glad that it happened”.


“Simon was able to take the studio to Jake in his home environment though. This was a true mark of the respect he had won from Jake and the fact he re-engaged Jake and got him back to the studio for the remaining sessions proved to me, if ever proof was needed, that this type of intervention works,” advises Jane.


From the very start of the intervention, it was clear that there was a change in Stuart. Firstly, his attendance improved dramatically. Before Noise Solutions, Stuart had failed to attend school for a full week (apart from the first week of the new academic year). With this intervention, Stuart managed to attend for seven full weeks without taking one day off which is a remarkable achievement. Consequently, his attendance improved dramatically. Prior to the intervention, his attendance was around 42%. Within a short space of time, his attendance had increased to 59%.


Stuart was in Year Ten and about to embark on his GCSE studies. His first term in Year Ten was difficult. A major barrier was attendance and Student A only managed one full week and that was the first week of the new academic year. From the second week of September to the second week in January, Stuart had at least one day off a week and in some cases, two or three days. Furthermore, there was also periods of prolonged absence e.g. five days. Although there were some absences which were authorised, the vast majority were not authorised. There were also days of school refusal.

Finally, it was clear that there was a significant change in behaviour. There was a massive decrease in the number of behavioural incidents logged on SIMS. There were very few sent ours. It was also pleasing to note that Stuart became more responsible and started to make the right decision rather than act impulsively.

Linked in with his lack of engagement and poor attendance, Stuart’s behaviour was also becoming more problematic. There were several occasions when he was sent out of lessons or moved to another classroom due to poor behaviour. Additionally, he was displaying increasingly defiant behaviour. For example, there were occasions when he refused to leave the classroom after being sent out. His behaviour become impulsive and this was demonstrated when he became angry about certain situations. Rather than trying to resolve the situation or listen to advice, he would grab his belongings and walk off site

Academically, there was also a major change. Stuart’s confidence had grown and this had an impact on his achievement. In the Spring Term, there was a marked improvement in his academic performance. There was an increase in his effort levels and his grades. For example, prior to starting the programme, Stuart was working towards a grade one in Science. Within a term, his Science grade was a 2.3

“Turned out he was expecting Noise Solutions to be about some guy in hippy gear bringing pans and gongs for him to knock around. So, breaking the ice was not difficult, I simply showed him the studio in my back pack, dropping into our conversation the fact that he could even come and work in a professional studio to produce whatever type of music he wanted to”.


“It was clear from the outset that engaging Chris would not be without its challenges. I arrived for the first session to be turned away by his mum, who claimed Chris had a headache and was not up to making noise. I persuaded her to let me in so I could chat to him for five minutes,” remembers Simon Glenister, the founder of Noise Solution and Chris’s tutor.

“Hearing the trance music that he’d started to create at home in a studio environment totally blew him away. Your first time in a studio is a very powerful experience. Unforgettable in fact. We know by the work that we are doing with all sorts of young people, that it is so powerful that it can overcome a host of issues preventing engagement, when applied with a little bit of patience.”

“He was visibly shaken when he arrived. As soon as we were safely locked away in the studio with nobody else around, he was absolutely fine. In fact he was more than absolutely fine, he was positively engaged, excited even.


Chris was very open about his agoraphobia and related paranoia and about how very difficult going to the studio would be. Simon arranged for a NACRO worker to bring him to the studio and tightly choreographed it to ensure he was there to meet him in the driveway at the other end and that any possible triggers for Chris’s paranoia had been worked around

Chris suffers from agoraphobia, so any engagement programme needed, in the early stages at least, to be taken to Chris in his home environment. Chris had a natural interest in music and computing, so when Chris’ key worker from NACRO found out about Noise Solution and its ability to take music making to the client, she thought it was worth a try.

From a personal history of underachievement and agoraphobic mental health issues, culminating in nine months of being totally housebound, to being out the house in three sessions and by the seventh session journeying in a taxi unaccompanied for an hour. Sustaining that commitment for the remainder of the course and achieving a nationally recognised arts award qualification. Chris’s journey has been about a lot more than just the physical distance travelled.

He agreed with the tutor that doing something rather than talking about it had made him feel better and that creating stuff also made him feel better. The course was clearly positively impacting George’s sense of wellbeing, engagement and confidence to try new things. Half way through the course, George felt confident enough to have a session in a local music studio. He was happy to travel to the studio alone, which was a positive outcome of its own. Once there he used his keyboard skills to record a track, tried drumming for the first time and showed great confidence in improvising on the keyboard. He was using his newly acquired editing and composing skills to create a piece for his Arts Award. “Today’s session was beyond out of this world because we’ve just made literally a masterpiece. It was so fun, so cool because we were just messing around with a load of sounds and it ended up coming up good. Playing live, improvising, interacting with someone else was hard but it felt good. Before this session I was at an eight out of ten. Now, there isn’t even a word for it!”



George is a 16 year old boy with a late diagnosis of global developmental delay and a history of absolute nonattendance in school and non-engagement with social workers and teachers. Prior to George’s referral, there had been a meeting held containing 20 professionals, all highly concerned at the direction things were going for him and his family. The time had come to try something different. As always, the tutor was introduced to George as a musician who was ‘just there to help him make the music he was interested in’, rather than as a case worker or some other official title. The tutor made it clear that for the duration of this project, George was in charge of his own destiny. He would be exploring and making the music he wanted to, with a primary focus on enabling quick wins to nurture a sense of competence. In just the first session, George created his first track in some music production software that Noise Solution gives all participants. He also learned how to play 14 chords on a keyboard, via a method that uses shapes, rather than music theory or notation. He also published his first blog post . George said “I was just expecting to learn the basics today. I think we’ve over-achieved. I even learned how to play the piano, and it felt good”.

Over the first few sessions, George continued to create music and share it with the people he’d chosen to have access to his ‘MyStream’ feed. The tutor explained more to him about what he would need to do to gain an Arts Award should he choose to. “We talked about my future plans and we looked at some courses at college and the discussion has opened my mind to a few possibilities.” wrote George on his weekly ‘MyStream’. A few weeks in, George’s computer crashed. Instead of ending the session, George keenly accepted the tutor’s invitation to walk down to the local college to pick up information. In his weekly video reflection, George somewhat nonchalantly said: “We went to college, and it went really well. We’ll try and sort out an interview and see what the options are. When we came out of the college I felt on top of the world.”

“Noise Solution did not try to change who I was. They more or less changed me into who I am, because I would always try to pretend to be something else. So, that’s basically that. I became me.”

Towards the end of the sessions, with all evidence completed for his Arts Award, the tutor asked how it made him feel, knowing he was going to complete: “It’s gone by so quick, a bit of a shock. Just looking at how much we’ve done in these weeks is eye opening. It is fun, something different to what I’ve ever done before”, he replied.

George (cont)


was able to observe her son’s successes and progress through the digital story that evolved week after week on the blog. This is what she had to say after the courses were finished.

Week ten saw George completing his track, and receiving an Arts Award Completion Certificate. In his final reflection George said: “I’ve learnt to make music which is something I can now do. It’s given me confidence to interact with new things I’ve not done before, and experience something some other people can’t. It’s opened up pathways to what I maybe can do when I’m older. Things look brighter than they did. College is the future.”

“Looking at his blog each week made me feel more encouraged. I was happy because as it went on, the more he blossomed, really. I needed to see the light at the end of the tunnel for him. It had felt quite hopeless, really. Now he’s leaps and bounds better. I noticed a big change in him, a big change. It was real too, it wasn’t just a charade or something that he was going along with. It was real.”

“I could see the difference as soon as he started working with Noise Solution. Nothing before had ever worked. Other people were trying to change him… his way of thinking, his thought patterns. Noise Solution was the only positive thing that really touched him. It made him alive. Right from the start he seemed very confident and feeling in control. Maybe for the first time, actually.’

Indeed it was. Noise Solution supported George, a young person with a record of absolute non-attendance at school and non-engagement with professionals, complete a ten-week course with 100 percent attendance. He gained an Arts Award and went on to achieve a level three qualifications at college and a job related to his George’squalification.mother

Speaker 2: Horrendous, I stopped working because I wanted to be there to look after him. He stopped interacting with us a lot. Emotionally, it was very difficult for all of us, I also had counseling to help the stress of looking after him. And his sister had counseling and his little brother was really struggling at nursery, just emotionally because it affects the whole family. It becomes easy to forget to look after ourselves because we've got still housework, got cooking and you've got to look normal, everyday family stuff and with an unwell child which is very exhausting, emotionally exhausting.

Speaker 1: Can you tell me a little bit about where John was at before and what your experiences were with services?

Interview with a parent

Speaker 1: So what were your experiences with everything else that was going on around him?


Speaker 2: Yeah, so he had stopped going to school because he suffered from a lot of social anxiety which led to depression. So he had been advised to not go back to school for the last 2 weeks of the term by his nurse. And then after that he was so anxious about going that he couldn't actually go back, he tried a couple of times. Found the high school setting too loud, crazy, you know just too much. So he didn't go back so we had tried home tutoring. But there's only one home schooler in the whole of Norfolk, so it was a long way. And he wasn’t… he wasn't actually quite leaving his room. He had become quite isolated, put on a lot of weight because he wasn't leaving the room and because of medication. And that’s when we were referred to CAMHs

Speaker 2: His psychiatrist suggested it because he wasn't attending school, he wasn't leaving the house. So she said that there were some places that she would apply for. And he got one---

Speaker 1: So how did you hear about Noise solution?

Speaker 1: How old was he?

Speaker 1: What kind of impact was that having on the rest of the family.

Speaker 1: --In terms of your experiences with other services and this issue, was it similar or diff Speakererent?2: Noise solution was a breath of fresh air, it was amazing because it didn't focus on why the child was ill. What might be the causes, it was just something for John that he could do and he wasn't being judged, it was just something that he could do outside a family, outside of doctors, it was something that got him out of the house. And it was someone to talk to him and it was something to take his mind for a split second of everything else that was going on.

Speaker 1: So he wasn’t engaging with school, he wasn’t engaging with anything else but he did engage with the Noise solution provision?

Speaker 1: Was it because he… did he have an interest in music before?

And that just helped, I think remind him that there was something that could help him through other than medicine which didn’t work for him in the end and talking to people which he found quite difficult to do. He is a very private person and he found that quite difficult to open up to people. Yeah…

Speaker 2: He started since when he was 13 and I think he was 14 or 15 when he was with you.

Speaker 2: Yeah. We found that school wasn’t helpful at all.

Speaker 2: Yeah.

Speaker 2: He did yeah… well his dad it has been a D.J. Not so much now but really interested in music, John always liked the old school music like his dad liked, like Michael Jackson, Motown Michael Jackson was just his way of escaping really, he just used headphones on and just block everything out so. I think that's why Noise solution was so good like because it was something he was already interested in.

Speaker 1: If it hadn't come along… What do think would have happened?

Speaker 2: No. It wouldn't have happened.

Interview with a parent (cont)

Speaker 2: We found it amazing that he could do stuff on the computer and we could go on as a family and see what he'd been doing. That was brilliant because we actually got to see pictures and videos of him doing things and enjoying and interacting with someone. And leaving comments which he must have been embarrassed of us saying to his face because we could leave it on the website… And I think my mum found that really helpful because she could tell him how proud she was of him without him being really embarrassed and not wanting to hear it, so that was really good.

Speaker 1: OK what role did the digital side of it play for you?

Speaker 2: Yeah. He came off all these medications of about 2 or 3 months, then started running. Then he started going to the gym, lost all the weight he had put on with the medication, which made him more confident to go out with his friends again. so he gradually started hooking up with friends that he had from school. And then he went to Catch 22 which was like an education, so it was like college but students who has mixed school. Then from there they took him to college interview where he did mechanical engineering at college and while it was there we did use math and English for JC essays, so we passed them. Then he got a part time job in Iceland, which he hated. [laughter]

Speaker 2: He started smiling. Which to most people doesn't seem like much but when you've been stuck in your room for months and you've lost most of your friends and nothing else seem to been working for him. Just getting on the keyboards and getting in a routine where he knew he had tasks to do and he had to do it before he saw you again. And he was really proud of himself for doing little things, it was a sense of pride and this sense of not being crap at stuff, even though I am not going to school I can still do stuff.

Speaker 1: He became motivated (through his work with Noise Solution)?

Speaker 2: Thank you. We did not think that he would ever get to this point but it's really like he was before he got ill but better. He said, I feel better now than people, he said I've done more in this last 2 or 3 years than the people that I went to school with who didn't miss out on any school.

Speaker 2: I don't think he would have gone on to college, I don’t think he would have gone on to get a job, he probably wouldn't have linked up with his friends again. I think he just would have got worst

and I don’t actually know if he would have been here today. It was just a stepping stone to get him out of that very dark place at the time.

Speaker 1: So what difference did you see once we start working with him?

Speaker 2: Yeah, we did. yeah… A lot of it we spoke about once he had started to get better. And he'd to go back on the blog and can look at it even after we had stopped doing the session. And he’d say I can’t believe how far I’ve come, can't believe I was doing this and now I'm doing other stuff, so I think it was a huge starting point for him. Back into the real world.

Speaker 1: How important do you think the Noise solution thing was as a catalyst? If we're going to scale it from one to ten, one didn’t matter at all and ten was…

Speaker 2: Nine, I think. Yeah-yeah. It was huge. Because he just wasn't talking to anybody else.

Saved up money for driving lessons, did is driving lessons.

Speaker 1: Do you think about what would have happen if we had this intervention in the first place?

Speaker 1: And did you talk about that outside Noise solution?

practice, theory


talk about


As ever it has been a busy year for Solution. We’ve been appearing on Universities and to the approach, and for the work do. Amongst others, this year us


talking with or presenting to: BBC radio Suffolk ITV BBCAngliaLook East East Anglian Daily Times Bury Free Press York CambridgeUniversityUniversity Business Masters BritishstudentsEducation Research Association Digital Innovation in Music Conference Dr Phil Mullin’s book launch on best practice in Community music SalesforcePwC Non Profit Conference East of England Leadership Academy Music and Prevention - Youth Justice TiMEConferenceConnectivity online conference

Noise Solution out and about and in the media

View the BBC feature on Sophie’s experience here



radio, TV , presenting at various

An independently conducted Social Return On Investment study conservatively estimated that Noise Solutions work currently returns £3.34 for every £1 invested with us. That means we are saving over £1m a year. Every year.

The impact of the changes you have read about in this document are transformational for individuals and those around them. These impacts also equate to significant cost savings for families and services.

To read more about how and why we achieve these results click here to read our imnpact report.

And finally….

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