International Helath Humanities Network: Humanities Subject Area Reports

Selected Healthcare Area: Healthy environment

Music Therapy for Parents and Children with Special Needs: Being Together and Playing Together

“Being Together and Playing Together” is a pilot project that provides music therapy services to parents and children with special needs in the deprived areas of East London/West Essex. Commissioned by the Epping Forest Children’s Centers, and in partnership with other local government agencies, “Being Together and Playing Together” seeks to create and sustain a community support network to reduce isolation and depression in parents of children with special needs, while also encouraging the use of music making for children with these needs as a way of self-expression and social development.

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Public Health and Social Justice Website with Significant Humanities Content

The public health and social justice website can be found at:  or

The website contains articles and open-access slide shows, syllabi, and other documents relevant to topics in public health and social justice, along with hundreds of external links. There is significant content focusing on the medical humanities on the "Literature, Medicine, and Public Health" page at

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One Step at a Time, by Emily Allchurch and rb&hArts; - a visual art commission for Royal Brompton Hospital

One Step at a Time was inspired and funded by the family and friends of Andrew James, a long term adult congenital heart disease (ACHD) patient to whose memory the work is dedicated. After Andrew’s death in 2007, his family chose to put money from his memorial fund towards commissioned works of art for the ward on which he spent so much time. The project took place in 2011-12.

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Imagined Landscapes - Performance and composition residency with Firefly Burning and rb&hArts;, Royal Brompton Hospital, Jan – March 2013

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To engage people spending time on the adult surgical wards at Royal Brompton Hospital in a songwriting process, resulting in new musical material and culminating in the public performance and recording of this material. By providing the opportunity to work alongside professional musicians, rb&hArts aimed not only to relieve some of the stress and boredom of the hospital environment, but to facilitate the creation of high-quality compositions, sensitively incorporating participants’ creative input.

During this project, Firefly Burning worked in two distinct ways: performance, and composition. Both were intended to be as interactive as possible. One of the key aims was to experiment with these different ways of working to discover which was the most valuable in the hospital environment.

rb&hArts’ annual music programme funded the project, which served as a pilot for a longer music residency that would require dedicated project funding.

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  • Arts & Humanities Research Council
  • The  institue of mental health nottingham
  • National Institute of Health
  • Centre for Advanced Studies
  • The University of Nottingham United Kingdom China Malaysia
  • De Montfort University Leicester
  • OPPNET Basic Behaviour & Social Science Opportunity Network