International Helath Humanities Network: Humanities Subject Area Reports

Selected Humanities Subject: Music

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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Rhythm for Life: Music Making and Wellbeing Enhancement for Older Adults

The Rhythm for Life project has aimed to enhance wellbeing among older adults through the implementation and evaluation of creative music making initiatives. Run from the Royal College of Music’s (RCM) Centre for Performance Science, the project facilitated music learning opportunities for over 100 adults between 2010 and 2012, all of which were delivered by specially-trained and supported RCM students. Adult learners, aged 50 years and over, participated in free 10-week programmes designed for musical beginners, including one-to-one instrumental lessons in learners’ homes, small-group instrumental lessons in community spaces, and large-group creative music workshops. 

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Converge: university-based courses in the arts for people who use mental health services

Converge offers courses in the arts to people who use mental health services. These courses are taught by university students and staff.

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Piano Moves

A dance performance by 3rd Stage Dance Company concentrating on piano studies by composers such as Scolding, Turner, Debussy, Schuman and Sculthorpe.

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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