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New report calls on government to recognise the “power of music” in healthcare

By | Published on Wednesday 20 April 2022

Power Of Music Report

A new report has been launched by UK Music and Music For Dementia which touts music as a “miracle medicine” in various healthcare settings.

Called ‘The Power Of Music’, the report calls on the UK government to do more to support healthcare providers, businesses and individuals in using music to improve the lives of people living with dementia, depression and other debilitating conditions.

The report makes four key recommendations, calling on the UK government to:

• Appoint a Power Of Music Commissioner to oversee work in the area of music and health, including setting up a new government taskforce.

• Launch a major public awareness campaign on how music can improve health.

• Provide better training for frontline workers on the role of music in healthcare.

• Provide funding to make music more available to all.

“The pandemic has shown us how we urgently need to reimagine health and social care in the UK”, says Music For Dementia Campaign Director Grace Meadows. “Music has a critical role to play in this and while we’re committed to making this happen, we can’t do this alone. We need leadership, public engagement and funding at the very least, including the appointment of a Power Of Music Commissioner who will turn our recommendations into action”.

“One of our biggest challenges is that many people still don’t fully appreciate the power of music, but we could begin to change that within a year”, she goes on. “We’re calling upon the government and leaders in the fields of health, care, music, charity and philanthropy to work together to ensure the greater use of music in social prescribing and make it a key tool in public health strategies”.

“As a country we can change the lived experience of millions living with dementia and wider health issues”, she concludes. “We can do it quickly, simply and we can do it now for a relatively small investment. It just needs commitment and a determination to work together. Let’s do it”.

UK Music Chief Executive Jamie Njoku-Goodwin adds: “Every day, more and more evidence emerges about the extraordinary health benefits of music and its potency as a non-pharmacological intervention. Whether it is in improving wellbeing and quality of life, boosting mental health or supporting dementia care, music has an incredible power to improve people’s lives”.

“When used correctly, music can be a miracle medicine – and while there are thousands of people across the country who have seen this first-hand, there are millions more who have yet to enjoy its benefits”, he goes on. “With bold leadership, cross-sector collaborations and a joined-up approach, we can harness the extraordinary power of music and ensure that everyone in our country can have access to the huge benefits music can bring”.

Although not making any real commitments just yet, the UK government’s Culture Secretary Nadine Dorries has nevertheless welcomed the report, saying: “Music can be a powerful tool. It is clear to me that more should be done to understand the social value of music, and the unique opportunities it presents to alleviate long-term and chronic conditions, including learning disabilities, depression and dementia. I look forward to working with the creative and health sectors to harness the power of music and boost its untapped potential to support health and wellbeing”.

Universal Music UK has also welcomed the report and – as well as hosting its launch – is also backing a new online information platform about the use of music in health and care.

You can read the full report here.