News and Updates

6 February 2020

Live Music Now case study on the impact of live music in social care and care homes

A fantastic new case study has gone live on our website this week, about Live Music Now Wales’ work with professional muisicians working in Woffington House care home, Tredegar over the last few years. It has some very significant details about the reduction of sedative medication, and we hope it will be of use in our campaign to bring music to every care home in the UK.

I think that the biggest impact overall that we are seeing through your input… is a 50% reduction in the use of all sedative medications being administered and 100% reduction of all PRN medication!”

– Adam Hesselden, Manager, Woffington House Care Home, Wales

21 November 2019

CQC finds Sabrina House musical care home ‘Outstanding’ in Responsiveness to residents

The NW England care home Sabrina House has been recognised as ‘Outstanding’ in their responsiveness to residents after a recent inspection by the Care Quality Commission (CQC). The report credited the role of LMN’s music in helping improve the lives of people there, amidst further praise of work by the care home staff. More details here.

4 November 2019

‘Live Music in Care’ at the National Care Forum

On Monday 4 November, the National Care Forum held its annual conference, bringing together managers and senior leaders from care homes throughout the UK. We were invited to give a keynote address to the conference. More details here.

4 October 2019

‘Live Music in Care’ presented to Welsh Assembly session

Jayne Bryant AM (Chair of the Arts & Health Cross Party Group, and AM for Newport West) presented the ‘Live Music in Care’ report to a session of the Welsh Assembly. She said:

screenshot-2019-10-08-at-09.14.28“Live music in care homes must not be just seen as entertainment. There is growing evidence to show the impact on residents. Music can benefit the whole care home, and contributes to person-centred care. The evidence-based report recommends that music should be essential for all care homes.”

A video of her presentation is online here.

24 September 2019

Launch of ‘Live Music in Care’ at the Senedd (Welsh Assembly)

The Welsh translation of the Live Music in Care Report was launched at the Welsh Assembly, hosted by Dame Rosemary Butler (Chair of Live Music Now Wales) to an audience of adult social care professionals, Assembly Members and senior representatives of the Arts & Music and Health and Social Care sectors in Wales. After a rousing introductory performance by LMN Wales Musicians Olivia Gomez (Mezzo Soprano) and Joseph Cavalli-Price (piano), LMN’s Executive Director Evan Dawson introduced the report and its key findings.

A panel discussion followed, with Jayne Bryant AM (Chair of the Arts & Health Cross Party Group), Adam Hessledine (Manager of Woffington House Care Home), Sarah Edwards (artist in residence at Pendine Park care home) and Nia Davies-Williams (musician in residence at Pendine Park care home).

There is a short 4-page version of the report, including a Welsh language version, and a full academic report,  which can be downloaded through the links below:

24 September 2019

Creative Arts and Dementia, Developing Best Practice Conference in Birmingham

cdan-870x492Douglas Noble Strategic Director, Wellbeing  of Live Music Now gave a Keynote Presentation on Live Music in Care  at the Creative Arts and Dementia, Developing Best Practice Conference in Birmingham

He spoke about the resources and learning that have emerged from, and are still available through, the A Choir in Every Care Home Website and Live Music in Care Study, and in particular how music and care professionals can work together and learn from and complement each other. He also referred to the campaigning work of the new Musical Care Taskforce, which is being led by Live Music Now and Music for Dementia 2020.

The presentation focused on some of the evidence for the case that meaningful, carefully delivered music by trained practitioners can play an impactful and significant role in supporting older people, the health conditions they face and the health and care settings  that service the ageing population, and as such is an investment offering real value and potential significant returns.

He finished by posing questions about the next areas of enquiry into music as a support for the experience  of living with and caring fur dementias, and in particular how it has the potential to offer voice agency and control for people living with dementia ,replacing spoken language as that facility  diminishes with the advance of the condition

He followed a fascinating and informative presentation by Professor Sebastian Crutch Professor of Neuropsychology at the Dementia Research Centre, UCL Institute of Neurology on his work with the Created out of Mind programme at the Welcome Collection. Seb touched on the neurology of arts and different forms of dementia, ways to describe arts impact and the need to identify next areas of enquiry  that need to be explored to further deepen the evidence base that responds to the questions that the heath and social care sector are asking.

26 July 2019

We are thrilled to announce that the Musical Care Taskforce has been launched. This is a joint initiative from Live Music Now (LMN) and the Utley Foundation’s Music for Dementia 2020, with close support and collaboration from the National Care Forum and the Association of British Orchestras.

The aim of the Taskforce is that music should be seen as an essential element in dementia care.

The launch event was attended by over 60 senior representatives of the music, heath, social care and academic sectors, as well as people living with dementia and their carers. It was a unique and invaluable gathering of expertise, knowledge and lived experience. More details here.

July 2019

The care home Sabrina House in the North West of England has been recognised as ‘Outstanding’ in their responsiveness to residents after a recent inspection by the Care Quality Commission (CQC). Their report credited LMN’s role in helping improve the lives of people there, amidst further praise of work by the care home staff.

 “We saw the service had established links with a music initiative which had led to extremely positive outcomes for people who lived at the home”.

The CQC commended staff for their work alongside our musicians, recognising the ways in which they understood and encouraged meaningful participation, and said they had “listened and reacted to people allowing people opportunities to engage and contribute.”

More details here.
May 2019

We were delighted to learn that the Live Music in Care project had been shortlisted for the Final of this year’s Charity Awards. More details here.

29 January 2019

Douglas Noble appeared at a Care Quality Commission event on supporting people living with dementia in care,  attended by Quality Inspectors, alongside Grace Meadows (of Music for Dementia 2020). The aim was to give the Inspectors a better understanding of how music can be provided in a meaningful way, to support quality of care and to help them to identify and encourage this in the homes they inspect. It was also a call to action to get them on-side with the campaign to make music available to all people living with dementia.  Douglas appeared with LMN musicians David Jones and Rebecca Cohen and the team they worked with from MHA Hall Grange Care Home in Shirley on the ‘Live Music in Care’ project.

Alison Murray, CQC Chief Inspector of Adult Social Care (London) said this after the event:

“I just wanted to say a huge ‘thank you’ for leading the music and dementia session at yesterday’s conference. I thought you pitched this beautifully, with a really good balance between slides, conversation and music. I thought the panel discussion worked really well. People were clearly very engaged with the session and the informal feedback I have received is extremely positive. Please do pass on my thanks to the musicians and staff from Hall Grange. They really helped to bring it all to life!”

9 January 2019
We are delighted to be supporting the launch of a brand new Website Music For Dementia 2020
It was featured in the Guardian Society with an article, accompanied by a LMN Wales picture of our work in Woffington House Care Home, Blaenau Gwent
Live Music Now’s work and the Live Music in Care Report feature  on the site in the press release about the launch

The website is part of the Music for Dementia 2020 Taskforce aimed at making music available for all people living with dementia by 2020 and is funded by the Utley Foundation. The headline message is 
‘For people living with dementia, music isn’t a nicety, it’s a necessity. We want to make music available for everyone living with dementia by 2020.’

We have worked closely in helping them to develop content for the site. It links to and mentions LMN and the ACIECH project throughout, including linking to the ‘Live Music In Care’ report
Our good friends and partners at OSJCT Monkcroft Care Centre have created  an excellent Case Study on the impact of taking part in the Live Music In Care project which can be seen on the site at

14 November 2018

The ‘Live Music in Care’ report is presented to the Care England conference in London, including showing a new film made by ITN Productions about the project.

The film can be viewed online here:

12 November 2018

The ‘Live Music in Care’ report is published, and launched publicly at the National Care Forum conference in Warwick.

The short and long versions of the report are available for download here.

Please help us spread the word using the hashtag #livemusicincare, and pointing to the web-link

9 November 2018

Andrea Sutcliffe, Chief Inspector of the Care Quality Commission, commented on the report:

“The excellent Live Music in Care report is a big step forward in showing what live music can do. This is much more than simply entertainment. If done well, live music can help care homes achieve all the key indicators of quality person-centred provision that CQC inspectors are looking for.”

6 November 2018

We met with Professor Martin Green, CEO of Care England, and the UK Government’s ‘Dementia Champion’. He commented:

“We have known for some time that carefully delivered music activities can provide significant benefits for people who live and work in care. At last, this important report presents rigorous evidence showing how music can impact on whole care settings, not just on individuals. There should no longer be any excuses – live music programmes should be essential for all UK care homes. This report shows why, and what practical steps care homes can take to embrace this.” 

29 October 2018

After months of analysis and re-drafting, the report was finally ready to share with our key stakeholders and partners, and for all those who had been involved. We gathered at Kings Place, where care workers from Bradbury Grange in Whitstable led everyone in song (together with LMN musician Maz O’Connor), demonstrating their new skills and confidence. Dr David Walters, Dr Christine Tapson and Douglas Noble presented their Findings and Recommendations, and there was detailed discussion. The group made many useful suggestions, which led to several last-minute refinements. Thank you so much to everyone who has been on this journey with us.

4 September 2018

A free online course in ‘Dementia and the Arts’ has been launched by our colleagues at UCL and Created Out of Mind. This includes useful and inspirational guidance for anyone working with people who are living with a dementia.

3 September 2018

We’ve received the final draft of the research report from Winchester University. We’ll be reviewing this over the coming weeks, before starting the consultation process with all our partners, and then launching the report at the National Care Forum Conference on 12 November.

14 August 2018

We met with David Cutler and Harriet Lowe at the Baring Foundation to review progress with the project, and consider the final stages of the research project.

4 July 2018

We were delighted to be in touch with the North West London organisation Bolder Voices, led by Clair Chapwell, who have created unique performances with older people around London, with a political message.  Their website includes some fantastic videos, such as “Love That Freedom Pass” (below).

26 June 2018

The Royal Society for Public Health has just announced that LMN’s work in care homes, which includes the ‘A Choir in Every Care Home’ initiative, has been shortlisted for the 2018 Health and Wellbeing Awards. The winner will be announced on 18 October 2018. Details here.

25 June 2018

Evan Dawson attended a roundtable discussion of the All Party Parliamentary Group on Arts, Health and Wellbeing at the House of Lords to discuss the role of Arts Council England in supporting health and wellbeing outcomes.

25 June 2018

We had our first meeting with the team from the University of Winchester, to review all the data and the themes that are emerging from it. There’s still a long way to go, but it’s looking very promising so far….


4 June 2018

In partnership with the London Arts in Health Forum, we led an event entitled ‘Music in care homes: luxury or necessity?’. The event took place all-day at Nightingale House care home in South London, and was the official launch of Creativity and Wellbeing Week 2018. It included workshops about the work of ‘A Choir in Every Care Home’, ‘Nordoff Robbins’ and ‘Playlists for Life’. There was also a panel discussion (chaired by Evan Dawson) that included Andrea Sutcliffe (Chief Inspector of the CQC) and Angelo Makri (Alzheimer’s Society), and a keynote address from Deborah Bull (Kings College, London).


15 May 2018

Douglas Noble and Evan Dawson attended the Care England conference at the House of Lords, at which Lord Howarth of Newport gave a keynote address that included several references to ‘A Choir in Every Care Home’. We had very useful conversations with representatives of several care homes, as well as BUPA, NAPA and Care England itself.


9 May 2018

Evan Dawson represented ‘A Choir in Every Care Home’ at the Strategic Members meeting, of the Culture, Health and Wellbeing Alliance, making contact with Alice Thwaite from Equal Arts in particular.

23 April 2018

Evan Dawson represented LMN and the ‘A Choir in Every Care Home’ project at a meeting of the APPG on Arts, Health and Wellbeing at the House of Lords specifically to discuss the training pathways for artists and care workers.

19 April 2018

Maxine and Suzette, members of the care team at HMA Hall Grange Care Home in Shirley, and resident Sylvia, accompanied Douglas Noble at the AESOP Arts and Health Showcase at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama in London to co present on LMN work in Care Homes and the ‘A Choir In Every Care Home’ project. Supported by LMN Musician David Jones, they led a group of 60 health professionals in a rousing group singing session, a demonstration of the development of their confidence and leadership ability through our collaboration.

12 April 2018

Arts Professional featured a lead article by Evan Dawson about training, support and fair pay for musicians working in the care sector, featuring ‘A Choir in Every Care Home’. Read it online here.

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13 March 2018

Dr Daisy Fancourt mentioned LMN and the Choir in Every Care Home project on BBC Radio 3’s “Free Thinking Essay”, entitled “Arts for Health’s Sake”. Listen here.

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March 2018

The March edition of Classical Music magazine was curated by Michelle James of Sing Up, with a focus on the role of singing in education and wellbeing. ‘A Choir in Every Care Home’ was featured in Michelle’s introduction, as well as within the magazine. More details here.

1 March 2018

The ‘A Choir in Every Care Home’ project was featured in Care Home Professional magazine, under the title “Medicine for the Soul”. More details here.

28 February 2018

The project was reviewed at a meeting in London, attended by leading academics and partners. Initial findings were presented by the University of Winchester, but there is still a lot of data to gather and analyse before conclusions are drawn.


February 2018

The five residencies are all underway now, and progressing well, such as this one in Whitstable led by LMN musician Maz O’Connor.


29 January 2018

Several websites have featured ‘A Choir in Every Care Home’ this month, following the launch of the five care home residencies, evaluated by the University of Winchester. These include Music Education UK, which you can read here.

18 January 2018

We were delighted to support the launch of the ILC-UK Commission on Music and Dementia, supported by the Utley Foundation. The report contains a wealth of useful information and recommendations. It can be downloaded here.

“Despite growing evidence of the value of music for people with dementia, we are not seeing enough being done to improve access to appropriate music-based activities. When talking about specialist music therapy, current availability only equates to roughly 30 seconds per week per person with dementia, meaning that very few individuals are benefitting from this valuable intervention.” – Baroness Sally Greengross, Chief Executive

“People with dementia often live in a silent world. Yet music can bring a person back to life. The ability to connect to music is an innate aspect of being human; having a diagnosis of dementia need not undermine this.” – Neil Utley, The Utley Foundation

18 December 2017

“It is very rewarding to hear our residents talking about the sessions together, and the elements they enjoyed. In particular, these sessions enable individuals who have recently joined the homes to have a purpose and a voice, and decrease their isolation, which is difficult to achieve using traditional approaches.” – Victoria Elliot, Principal Care Consultant at The Orders of St John Care Home Trust.

The above quote is taken from a new blog post about ‘A Choir in Every Care Home’ for ‘Bright Copper Kettles’, written by Hannah Dawkins. Read the full piece here.

9 December 2017

We were delighted to learn that the research review carried out by Professor Stephen Clift and Dr Trish Vella-Burrows for ‘A Choir in Every Care Home’ will be published shortly in an important new book entitled ‘Music, Health and Wellbeing: Exploring Music for Health Equity and Social Justice‘. Further details here.

27 November 2017

Åsa Malmsten (Director of Sound Sense), attended the Music Education Council Seminar in London, where she presented ‘A Choir in Every Care Home’ as an example of Life Long Learning taking place in the UK. This was followed by a panel discussion.

20 November 2017

Expert Seminar on Music and Dementia organised by Creative Dementia Arts Network and MHA- Wellcome Trust London

The event focused on a range of projects and studies revealing the neurological, physical, emotional and social benefits of music activities  for people living with dementias.
Douglas Noble attended  to speak about A Choir in Every Care Home. He led a breakout session in which presented the tools and resources on the website, the evidence review, the link to the CQC KLOEs Quality Assessment, and led a discussion on the need to, and value in, working closely with the adult social care sector, engaging with providers at a strategic level, as well as the front-line staff who work in the care settings.
There were a range of other present presentations, including from Helen Odell-Miller and Jorge Fachner of the Anglia Ruskin University on music in dementia research practice and professional education, from Julian West on the Created Out of Mind research programme at the Welcome Trust and from Ming Hung Hsu of MHA on music therapy and dementia.
Douglas also took part in a panel discussion chaired by Alex Coulter of Arts and Health South West and involving the other presenters from the day as well as Dr Claire  Garabedian of the University of Worcester

16 November 2017

We were delighted to be featured in an article by the Baring Foundation’s Harriet Lowe entitled “What a Difference a Song Makes”. She had visited one of our sessions on Monday this week.

15 November 2017

Our new tutorial videos are completed and online, led by tenor and LMN tutor John Bacon. Please visit the new page on Singing Tips for Care Staff.

14 November 2017

Evan Dawson met with Bev Foster from Canadian organisation Room 217, who are delivering a range of training programmes for care staff in Canada. There is much potential for collaboration.

8 November 2017

We met with LMN tutor and baritone John Bacon, to record a series of tutorial for care workers, showing how to plan and lead singing sessions for older people from scratch. These will be available on the website soon!

6 November 2017

The project was featured by :Choraly and Music Education UK, in their article about choirs that tackle health and social need. Read the article here.

20 October 2017

Sadly, we didn’t win the award last night, but it was nevertheless a great endorsement of the project to be shortlisted. The Arts & Health award was won by UCL and Canterbury Christchurch University for their fabulous ‘Museums on Prescription’ project. More info here.

19 October 2017

The RSPH awards will be announced at a ceremony this evening. ‘A Choir in Every Care Home’ has been shortlisted for the ‘arts and health’ award, though it faces tough competition from two excellent projects. It is a great accolade to have been shortlisted at all. We will update this page after the announcement has been made…

RSPH logo

18 October 2017

Evan Dawson is meeting with Angela Cullmore-Todd, Head of Care Services at The Royal British Legion, to discuss potential collaborations. We are thrilled that they have just awarded us a grant to help develop much of the evaluation work, being led by the University of Winchester.

12 October 2017

We were delighted to support the public launch of the APPG on Arts, Health and Wellbeing’s new report ‘Creative Health’ at King’s College, London. The presentations were led by Lord Howarth of Newport, Darren Henley (Arts Council England), Shirley Cramer (RSPH) and Ed Vaizey MP. We provided a recorder trio for the event, and were delighted by references made to the project by several of the speakers.


12 October 2017

Working together with the University of Winchester, MHA, the Orders of St John Care Homes Trust and others, we are introducing music into six care homes over the coming months, using a new approach. LMN musicians will work together with staff members to provide regular music for residents over several months, supporting those staff members to continue using music after our involvement finishes. The first session took place in Bath today, and the initial feedback was very positive. The data gathered will be analysed by researchers at the University of Winchester, using the evaluation framework developed on 15 June (see below).

12 October 2017

Evan Dawson met with Duncan Selbie, CEO of Public Health England. He confirmed that PHE is happy to support the initiative, and we have added them to the list of supporting organisations. Over the coming months, we will explore how we might work together more practically.

11 October 2017

Ed Vaisey MP led a debate on arts, health and wellbeing at Westminster Hall, in the Houses of Parliament. His introductory comments included references to ‘A Choir in Every Care Home’, which he described as “brilliant”.


10 October 2017

Evan Dawson presented the project, including the evidence base and toolkits, to the Commission on Dementia and Music at the House of Lords, run by the International Longevity Centre, together with the Utley Foundation. The Commission is Chaired by Baroness Sally Greengross.

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4 October 2017

The project was featured in ‘The House’ magazine, the magazine for MPs and Peers at the Houses of Parliament, written by Ed Vaizey MPDownload the article here. We are very grateful indeed to him for his support.

2 October 2017

In the past week, since the re-launch, we’ve had over 2,000 new visitors to the website. We’ve been delighted by the positive responses to the toolkits and videos, as well as descriptions of how people have been inspired to start using music in their care homes. Thank you for your support!

27 September 2017

As part of the next phase of work, Douglas Noble and John Bacon led a training session for musicians at the Colston Hall in Bristol. We are very grateful to the Bristol Music Trust for allowing us to use the space. The focus of the session was teaching musicians to train and support care workers to use music in their own daily practice.

20 September 2017

Douglas Noble presented the redesigned website and all the new materials to the Best Practice in Care conference in Bristol, whilst Evan Dawson presented it to the Campaign to End Loneliness event in London. Throughout the day, our wonderful partner organisations and friends throughout the care and arts sectors have been tweeting and sending messages to their own contacts. We’ve received a huge amount of positive feedback. It’s been tremendous. We will keep adding resources to the website, so please do keep in touch, and keep spreading the word. It is estimated that 95% of the UK’s 21,000 care homes have no meaningful arts activities taking place, so let’s all do our best to inspire and support them to change this!

18 September 2017

We’re getting ready for the big re-launch of the project in a couple of days. If you’re able to help us, please download the press release here. We’d like to spread the word far and wide!!

6 September 2017


Evan Dawson presented A Choir in Every Care Home at the “Imagine: Arts & Health for Older People” conference in Nottingham, organised by City Arts and Nottingham City Council, supported by the Baring Foundation.

30 August 2017

Nina Swann led a workshop for the managers and activity co-ordinators from the Royal British Legion care homes to discuss the role of music for residents, and to consider their feedback on the latest updates to the A Choir in Every Care Home website.

30 August 2017

The Chair of Winchester University’s Ethics Committee has confirmed that our research proposal has been given full and final approval to proceed. Over the coming 6 months, we will be introducing music programmes to six care homes, including staff training and support, and carefully evaluating the impact, as we discussed on 15 June (see below).

20 July 2017

The formal application for ethics approval, for the next stage of our project delivery work, has been submitted to Winchester University, building on the work done with our care home partners last month to refine the evaluation framework. We hope this work will be able to start during the Autumn.

19 July 2017


The All Party Parliamentary Group on Arts, Health and Wellbeing launched the results of its two year inquiry into the impact of arts and health in the UK. The report cites ‘A Choir in Every Care Home’ several times, including extracts from the evidence review by Professor Stephen Clift. Details here. We attended the launch event at the Houses of Parliament, alongside ministers including Ed Vaisey MP, Sarah Wollaston MP as well as John Glenn MP. The initiative was led by Lord Howarth of Newport.

12 July 2017


Douglas Noble addressed the launch event of the Care Quality Commission’s new commitment entitled “Quality Matters”. He demonstrated the ‘Choir in Every Care Home’ website to the invited delegates, which included government ministers. With LMN musician Guillermo Rozenthuler, we helped conclude the whole event in song!

4 July 2017

Evan Dawson met with Andrea Sutcliffe, Chief Inspector of the Care Quality Commission, to record an interview with her about the CQC’s approach to encouraging care homes to embrace music and arts programmes. The video will be available shortly on this website.

28 June 2017

‘A Choir in Every Care Home’ has been shortlisted by the Royal Society of Public Health (RSPH) in their prestigious Health and Wellbeing Awards, in the Arts & Health category. It is a great honour to be shortlisted, alongside some wonderful projects and organisations. More details here.

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27 June 2017

Douglas Noble and Trish Vella-Burrows presented the initiative and led a workshop at the Creative Dementia Arts Network Conference, at Sheffield Hallam University.


19 June 2017

Evan Dawson and Douglas Noble, together with representatives of the Sydney De Haan Research Centre, activities co-ordinator Karen Cape and musician Julia Turner, presented the initiative at the Bristol International Culture, Health and Wellbeing Conference.DCcG_VrXkAARzif.jpg-large.jpegDSCF1602

15 June 2017

To launch the next practical stage of the project, we met with representatives from various care homes, together with musicians and staff from LMN and Sound Sense; and Professor Norma Daykin and Dr David Walters of the Centre for Arts as Health at Winchester University. During our day together, we discussed how we hope to introduce new music programmes to six of their homes. Through various workshops and discussions, we agreed a theory of change model, to guide our evaluation process over the months ahead. It was a very successful meeting, building on all the work done so far.

18 May 2017

Douglas Noble and Evan Dawson met with Professor Norma Daykin and Dr David Walters from Winchester University, in Bristol. We are delighted that Professor Daykin and Dr Walters have agreed to be our academic partners for the next practical stage of the project.

16 May 2017

“There are no pills for loneliness and poverty but a rich cultural context can help ensure residents are better connected to each other and feel more able to cope.”

NHS Halton’s Clinical Commissioning Group announced their new manifesto for wellbeing, including a main strategic aim to work with us, and to help create a choir in every care home. This resulted from many discussions with us, and may be the first time a CCG has made such a clear move towards investing in arts programmes at a strategic level. We are delighted to be supporting it. More details here.

12 May 2017

Working with Creative Inspirations CIC, we convened a group of 35 people from care homes in the Shrewsbury area to test drive the new website, and help us decide whether it is ready to be publicised widely. We also made several short video interviews.

It was a hugely positive day, with a lot of very useful advice offered, but a general feeling that the Choir in Every Care Home project is much needed, and offering something very valuable to the care sector.

28 April 2017  We met again with Andrea Sutcliffe at the CQC, who reiterated her support for the project.

March 2017

A small group of people from different care homes and other roles met in London to consider the website and materials from various different perspectives. We know that we are trying to reach people who are interested in bringing music to care homes, but don’t know how to achieve this. The group made many insightful comments, which we are going to use to make a series of changes. We have also secured funding to carry out some pilot studies, to introduce music programmes into six care homes, and evaluate the results in partnership with Winchester University and several large care home chains.

February 2017  Funding was confirmed from the Baring Foundation and others for us to continue the work. A small group of care sector representatives will meet to discuss how successfully the existing materials have reached their target ‘audiences’, and how we should refine them.

December 2016 and January 2017 –  Building on all the work done so far, we consulted with various partners and advisors, considering how the project should develop. Funding for the next phases of the project was saught, on the basis that we needed to refine the work done so far, and circulate it further; and also test out some of the conclusions in practice.

Autumn 2016

Phase 1 of the project was featured at several conferences around the UK, and much positive feedback was received from the care and arts sectors.


September 2016

The initiative is featured on the cover, and in depth, in Sound Sense’s ‘Sounding Board’ magazine.

27 August 2016 – Evan and Kathryn led a session at the annual conference of the Association of British Choral Directors (ABCD) at Winchester University, to discuss the potential contribution that amateur singers and professional choir leaders could make. A video of the discussion will be available soon on ABCD’s website.

5 July 2016  Evan and Kathryn met with the Arts Committee at the Baring Foundation to discuss the conclusion of Phase 1 of the project and how things should develop over the coming year(s). We hope to make some further announcements about this soon.

June and July 2016


Since the launch, the resources and toolkits have been circulated by several large organisations including Care England, the National Care Forum, NAPA, the London Arts and Health Forum, Voluntary Arts, Arts and Health South West and the Mental Health Foundation.

We have also discussed it at other conferences, including Kathryn’s appearance at the 32nd World Conference of the International Society for Music Education in Glasgow from 24-29 July, pictured here.




24 May 2016


The website and wider initiative were fully launched at the conference of Care England and the National Care Forum in London, with hugely encouraging and constructive responses from all present, including Andrea Sutcliffe, Chief Inspector of the Care Quality Commission.

23 May 2016  We presented the initiative to the All Party Parliamentary Group on Arts, Health and Wellbeing, at the House of Lords.

17 May 2016  We ‘soft-launched’ the project to the TONSIL meeting at Making Music, representing leading singing organisations from around the UK. The response was extremely positive, and many helpful suggestions and offers of help were made.

12 May 2016 – We presented the headline findings and information about the toolkit and website  to the plenary at the All Wales Arts Health & Wellbeing Network The Art of Health in Wales Symposium to delegates from arts and health from across Wales, in the context of the development of a new All Wales Arts and Health Strategy.

9 May 2016


The ‘end of the beginning’ last Working Group meeting took place at Kings Place, to review all that has happened during the past year. Professor Stephen Clift produced the final draft of the Literature Review, and we discussed the findings and key messages from all the other pieces of work. The website is being updated to reflect all this, and will soon be ready for us to widely launch. Michelle James from Sing Up gave us a clear picture of how the work could develop on a much more ambitious scale, if further funding can be found. Details of all these discussions are in the Working Papers.

14 April – We presented an update on our research findings and promoting the imminent launch of the website and toolkit in a breakout seminar about the project at the Creative Dementia Arts Network Annual Conference in Oxford. Arts and Dementia: Researching, Learning and Sharing.

March / April 2016 – The next stage has been to gather more specific case studies and examples of good practice from around the UK, based on recommendations from all our Working Group organisations. A summary of these is in our Working Papers, together with an analysis of the results.

On 29 February 2016 we ran stall at  2016 MHA annual conference – Later Life Matters: Flourishing in an Ageing Society, which took place in Westminster, talking to delegates about the initiative and gathering feedback.

All our survey results were completed and analysed in time for our progress meeting at the Baring Foundation on 17 February 2016. Detailed data was submitted by over 150 care homes and over 100 musicians, which you can see in our Working Papers.

30 November 2015


The second of our large working group meetings took place at Kings Place, in London, attended by senior representatives from our (growing) Working Group. Details of the meeting are in our Working Papers.

30 September 2015

We’ve been consulting all summer with different people and organisations, working out what we do and don’t know about the care and arts sectors; in this context, the demand and supply sides. We need to understand what is happening in care homes at the moment, including those that don’t have any arts or music provision at all. We need to know what the barriers might be to creating singing group for them, and what the best ways might be to overcoming those barriers. We also need to find out what singing is already taking place, who is leading it, and whether they would be able to do any more of this. We’ve launched two surveys, one for care homes, and one for music leaders, which we are circulating as far and wide as possible. We’ve already had lots of great responses, and are collecting some fascinating data from all around the UK.

Please help us to make these surveys as comprehensive and useful as possible by following the above links, and perhaps sending them to people you know. They need to be completed by 6 November, for entry into the prize draws!

The Steering Group assembled again on 9 July 2015, to review progress with each of the above actions, and ensure that all Working Group members are able to contribute. We circulated a summary to everyone involved, and are also working on a more public-facing document, which we can circulate to the many people that have signed up (through this website) for updates about the project. We hope to sent this out soon.

On 19 March 2015, Evan Dawson, Kathryn Deane and Douglas Noble met with the Baring Foundation’s Director David Cutler to confirm the final details of the Foundation’s agreement to fund this proposal.

On 12 August 2015, we were delighted when two further organisations joined this initiative. These are ‘Care England’ and the ‘West Kent Dementia Action Alliance’. There are now 30 organisations involved.

The first meeting of the larger Working Group took place on 2 June 2015 in London. In the photographs below you can see David Cutler (Baring foundation), Rod Patton (Natural Voice Practitioners Network) and Simon Proctor (Nordoff Robbins) addressing the group. Further details of this very productive meeting will be posted here in due course.

ACIECH 2  IMG_2170


We will be using this space to keep track of the project, and also adding further pages showing the evidence base for this work, and any other resources that we develop as the work progresses over the coming months.

As a group, we identified a sequence of “enquiries” that would enable us to move forward. These were as follows:

E1 What are the purposes of singing in care homes? Demand
E2 What sorts of singing exist, and how do they address those purposes? Supply
E3 Where is singing currently not of the quality required to meet those purposes? Demand
E4 How could singing quality be improved to better meet those purposes? Supply
E5 How would care sector ask for more appropriate singing; how could this be communicated and supplied? Demand/


E6 What are the implications of fulfilling E5? Demand/


Against each of the above “enquiries”, we agreed a set of actions, and all of the organisations involved have offered to contribute to at least one (and in some cases several) of these actions. During the summer, we will be working with members of the Working Group on each of these areas, with a view to drawing together all these contributions during Autumn 2015.

On 20 April 2015, we had the first meeting of our Lead Partners group, together with Professor Stephen Clift. It was a very successful day, reviewing the various different strands of the project, and planning for the first meeting of the Working Group itself.