Jun 23 2014, 9:30am - 6:00pm BST
St Cecilia’s Hall, Edinburgh, Lothian, EH1 1NQ

Mapping the Future for Music and Health Research in Scotland

The first seminar of the Scottish Music and Health Network, with presentations and workshop discussion for music researchers and practitioners, clinicians and patient group representatives, took place in Scotland's oldest purpose-built concert hall, St Cecilia's, on 23rd June 2014.

One hundred and eleven people attended on the day, demonstrating the substantial activity and enthusiasm around Scotland in this field. Academic organisations represented included the Universities of Edinburgh, Glasgow Caledonian, Bangor, Dundee, Glasgow, Highlands & Islands, Queen Margaret, Stirling and Strathclyde, as well as Royal Conservatoire of Scotland and Glasgow School of Art. Music providers represented included Artlink, Drake Music Scotland, Limelight Glasgow, Scottish Chamber Orchestra and Sound Recovery, as well as music organisations with a specific health focus such as Musemantik, BrainHeart Music and Music in Hospitals Scotland. Representatives also attended from government organisations (Chief Scientist Office, East Dunbarton Council and Creative Scotland) and healthcare providers (including Chest Heart & Stroke Scotland, NHS Lothian, NHS Tayside and Pain Concern) as well as the Scottish Dementia Clinical Research Network and the Scottish Mental Health Research Network.

Following an outline of what is currently known about associations between music and health, presenters reported on research into musical interventions in stroke rehabilitation, pain management, and child trauma. Dr Alan McNair outlined how funding streams available through the Chief Scientist Office could be applied to for research into music and health, and speakers from two of Scotland’s major Clinical Research Networks explained how their organisations could support research funded in this way.  All three of these presenters highlighted that they are aware of few if any applications for research into music and health, and encouraged delegates to consider remedying this! As well as stunning performances from the musicians of Limelight and Drake Music Scotland during the day, musicians from the Scottish Chamber Orchestra gave a demonstration of their musical intervention with people living with dementia (ReConnect). The Limelight musicians also gave a vivid account of the benefits they saw to their own wellbeing from being involved in music.

The day closed with a presentation about this website, and a discussion of priorities for future research. Points to emerge included the need to make research questions about the effects of music more specific. Making contacts and sharing knowledge across disciplines were seen as vital to research development, as was planning to maximise the impact of findings through widespread dissemination. The Scottish Music and Health Network was viewed as a promising facility in these respects. It was thought that in most areas of health, understanding of the effects of music was at an early stage more appropriate to developing theory  through qualitative research, which could lead to the design of interventions for subsequent trials. Delegates stressed the need to consider impacts beyond medical models alone.

The programme is listed below; where presenters used slides, a link is provided to the presentation with their kind permission (click on the title of the presentation in the right hand column).


Mapping the Future for Music & Health Research in Scotland

St Cecilia’s Hall, University of Edinburgh 23rd June 2014


Welcome & Registration



Prof Dorothy Miell (University of Edinburgh)

Prof Raymond MacDonald

(University of Edinburgh)

Introduction: Researching Music and Health in Scotland

What is Music Health & Wellbeing and why is it important?


Dr Don Knox, Prof Frederike van Wijck

(Glasgow Caledonian University)

Music to enhance stroke rehabilitation and pain management


Dr Alan McNair (CSO)


Dr James McKirdy (SMHRN)

Proposing research to the Chief Scientist Office

The Scottish Mental Health Research Network





Joseph Delaney, Jason Hanratty (Limelight Music)



Gordon Dougall, Joseph Delaney,

Sally Clay (Limelight Music)

James Robertson

(Queen Margaret University)

Music, health and the Limelight model

Music therapy research


Dr Graeme Wilson

Summary: questions for research





Digital Ensemble (Drake Music Scotland)



Prof Nigel Osborne

(University of Edinburgh)

Music and the health of children and young people


Prof John Starr (SDCRN)

The role of the Scottish Dementia Clinical Research Network


Dr Katie Overy (University of Edinburgh); Lucy Forde, Rosenna East (Scottish Chamber Orchestra); Jan-Bert van den Berg (Artlink Edinburgh)

SCO ReConnect Music and dementia project: Partnership working in evaluation and practice





Dr Graeme Wilson (University of Edinburgh)

Scottish Music & Health Network website



From ideas to applications


Dr Gianna Cassidy

(Glasgow Caledonian University)



Wine reception