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Music Challenge Fund: Music For Health

Project evaluations

Insights from Music for Health, a project focused on improving wellbeing for residents of Morecambe’s West End referred by health- and social-care providers.

Music for Health was one of four Music Challenge Fund projects funded by Spirit of 2012. It was delivered by More Music in Morecambe between 2019-2022, working with local health and social-care providers. Alongside monitoring outcomes for participants, More Music partnered with the International Centre for Community Music to explore how partner organisations understand and communicate the value of the work.


Outcome 1: Improved mental health and well-being through participation

Wellbeing of participants was measured using the Personal Wellbeing ONS4 measures, observations of people’s participation and response, as well as informal open ended feedback. ONS4 scores revealed an increase in life satisfaction, feelings of being worthwhile, and happiness, and a decrease in anxiety. One young participant told More Music, “it helps with my anxieties, when I am at home I just sit at home in a depressive state, not knowing what I am doing.”

Outcome 2:  Improved self-efficacy for people living in challenging circumstances

Measured through observations and case studies, this outcome sought to understand how far the project helped participants to feel more able to try new things, do new tasks and handle unfamiliar situations. Here, the project found that making music together and in particular performing in public helped participants be more confident in other areas of their lives. A parent of a young participant at Music for Health’s Sing It Out group said, “this culminated in her performing a solo at the More Music concert in December 2021. As parents we were amazed and so proud of her confidence and ability. This would not have been possible without the support of the rest of the group, and the tireless input of the group leaders who have helped to develop her skills and confidence.”

Outcome 3: Increased understanding of the health and wellbeing benefits of music-making

This outcome measured how far the projects increased confidence of referral health- and social-care partners in Music for Health. The project was successful in demonstrating the benefits of music-making to these partners, and these arrangements have now been formalised through funding relationships and MOUs. The volume of referrals from social prescribing teams increased throughout the project, and the creation of a Young Persons Social Prescribing Role demonstrates commitment to the value of this work from local Bay Medical Group. Funded through the grant, the International Centre for Community Music published a report in December 2021 to better understand these partnerships, which can be downloaded below.

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