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Emerging Minds (2021)

Emerging Minds is a unique, multi-partner research project that examined the impact of live music experiences on the mental health and wellbeing of children and young people.

This joint project was led by Children in Scotland in collaboration with Scottish Ensemble, University of Stirling, the Scottish Government and Children in Scotland’s children and young people’s advisory group, Changing our World.

Emerging Minds reflects the organisations’ hope that, in the wake of the pandemic, live music can be made an accessible part of mental health improvement activity.

The project studied the evidence for this from the perspective of children and young people, looking at the impact of different factors such as location and performance type, and how experiences vary based on age and protected characteristics, such as disability, sexuality or race.

Through the project’s research we wanted to identify how barriers such as poverty and other forms of disadvantage can be overcome.

More information about the project

We ran four workshops over summer 2021, engaging with others working in related areas for a series of research discussions.

The University of Stirling brought research expertise to the project, while the Scottish Government’s Mental Health Division has had direct access to learning from the research to help shape government policy.

Young members of Changing our World steered the group’s focus and collaborate with other members to discuss the findings and agree recommendations.

The Special Interest Research Group, led by Children in Scotland and Scottish Ensemble, is one of 18 supported by Emerging Minds, a UK- wide research network aiming to reduce the prevalence of mental health problems experienced by young people.

For more information, please contact:

Amy Woodhouse, Head of Policy, Projects and Participation:

'Music has the ability to inspire'

Scottish Ensemble and Children in Scotland staff preview the research in a short film

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Live Music and Mental Health Workshop

Learn more about how the workshops will be run and how you can take part.

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Emerging Minds

A UK research network aiming to reduce rates of young people experiencing mental health problems

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Project partner: Scottish Ensemble

A pioneering string orchestra regularly performing across Scotland, the UK and the world

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Project partner: University of Stirling

Learn more about the university, which offers world-class research and innovative teaching

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Project partner: Changing our World

Our children and young people's advisory group will help to steer the project

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Project partner: the Scottish Government

The government's Mental Health Division will use project learning to shape policy

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