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Power of Music report showcases importance of music for health

A report from Music for Dementia and UK Music has outlined how music can improve the nation’s health and wellbeing, including those that are dealing with illnesses like dementia, depression and other conditions.

The Power of Music report has been launched today (Wednesday) and has been designed to showcase to the UK Government, businesses and the general public how music can be used to improve the lives of people dealing with mental health issues and dementia.

The report’s publication follows a year-long study by UK Music, an umbrella organisation for the UK music industry and Music for Dementia, a health and music campaign which is supported by The Utley Foundation. The report is calling on the Government to work with the health, care, music, philanthropy industries and other sectors to invest in and take advantage of the power of music.

Before the report’s publication, organisers consulted key stakeholders from charities, the Government, representatives from the health and social sectors as well as musicians, music therapists, people living with dementia and their carers.

UK Music and Music for Dementia hope the report can shine a light on four key areas, including the appointment of the UK’s first Power of Music Commissioner to coordinate work in this area, the setting up of a new Government Taskforce and a Life With Music Consortium.

The Power of Music report also hopes to raise awareness on how music can change lives, improve health and bring communities together. This will be supported by a new online information platform, which is being developed in conjunction with music company, Universal Music UK.

Other initiatives include supporting frontline workers with training on the role of music in health and care, as well as extra funding to help make music more accessible to all, delivered by new investment partnerships between Government, the music industry and philanthropists.

UK Music chief executive Jamie Njoku-Goodwin said: “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.”

Music for Dementia campaign director Grace Meadows added: “The pandemic has shown us how we urgently need to reimagine health and social care in the UK.  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. 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.”

Image: Priscilla Du Preez on Unsplash