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music and wellbeing

We are passionate about the power of music to promote wellbeing
Music education

Music and Wellbeing in Schools

Music stimulates brain development in children Studies have found that receiving music education increases in IQ points in children who engaged with music. When compared with students who didn’t take any music lessons, musically-engaged students had more improvements in IQ subtests, index scores, and a standardised measure of academic achievement. 

Music is a way to connect with other people It creates bonding and encourages positive memories to reminisce upon. It has been proven time and again that having people of all ages play or listen to music together will help to create bonds. Musical experiences such as these can bring back a fond memory or create new ones!

Music integrates many different subjects Not only will music education allow children to develop their musical skills, it will also give them the opportunity to work on their math skills, reading and writing skills, science skills, and history knowledge. For example, time signatures in music are an excellent way to incorporate fractions, and lyric analysis and songwriting will allow students to work on their reading abilities.

Music teaches discipline Music will also teach children to develop time management skills and discipline. If students are expected to create a practice schedule they will be able to balance every other activity they have going on in their lives.  For example, if a child develops discipline in primary school, they will have more ability to balance the workload they’ll receive in secondary school and excel in their classes.

Music can relieve stress music is an excellent way to relieve stress.  This is significant for students who may feel overwhelmed by schoolwork and try to balance extracurricular activities. Studies have found that music can reduce burnout and improve mood states. In addition, Soundtracking your classroom to help relieve stress and anxiety for students. Doing so can also help create a focused learning atmosphere.

Our School Projects
Music in a Group

The Benefits of Group Musical Activity

In the last decade there has been a massive growth in research over the benefits of group musical activity. We got in touch with one of these researchers, a Dr Jacques Launey of Brunel University whose research was based on choirs but who strongly believes could apply to any group musical activity:

“While singers have known for a long time that singing is a great activity, scientists are catching up, and working out what causes such positive effects”

Physiologically we now have strong evidence that singing:

  • leads to a reduction in cortisol. can lead to an increase in immunoglobulin A
  • leads to activation of a whole network of cytokines, which are also involved in our immune response
  • changes in oxytocin andendorphin levels

Dr Jacques continues “At a psychological level, singing increases positive mood and decreases stress. In addition to these psychological and physiological effects, evidence suggests that singing is an especially good social bonding activity, and music could even have evolved specifically to help humans create communities"

Recent reviews into health suggest a strong community is one of the most important predictors of how long people live (better even than quitting smoking!), so anything that strengthens social relationships is very important to our wellbeing

Taken together this evidence shows that musical activity in a group is effective because it increases happiness, decreases stress, and makes us socially connected – all of this leads to a stronger immune response, and reduced risk of health problems

find your nearest ukulele club
Lesley has been part of a folk group meeting weekly to sing. This was her community until she was diagnosed with Spasmodic dysphonia a condition that causes the voice box to vibrate making it difficult to talk and, most devastatingly for Lesley, to sing. After a 6-week beginners ukulele course, run by us for Age UK Richmond, she found a new voice. She now has the confidence to play with her folk group again. She also has another club to attend and many more ukulele playing friends!
Genesis is 6 years old and has autism. He is an extremely talented musician and artist. Through the London Ukulele Project Genesis is working on an Explore Arts Award, which is an entry level arts qualification. We meet weekly via Zoom thanks to Otakar Kraus Music Trust. He has made loads of friends in the group even though they have never met in person. His mother Sandra sent this photo to me with the caption 'Just an image of Happiness when he plays his ukulele'

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