skip to main content

Live Music and Mental Health (2021 - )

In 2021, Children in Scotland led 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.

The Special Interest Research Group 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.

The project reflected 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.

Click to read the workshop briefing.

For more information, please contact:

David Mackay, Head of Policy, Projects and Participation:

Project partner: Scottish Ensemble

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

Find out more

Project partner: University of Stirling

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

Find out more

Project partner: the Scottish Government

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

Find out more

Music Cities Convention

Hear Amy Woodhouse discuss this project on 9-11 February at this year's Music Cities Convention.

Register for free ticket

Live Music and Mental Health 2021 Report

This briefing provides a short overview of the four workshops and an analysis of the discussions.

Read Report

Emerging Minds

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

Find out more

Project partner: Changing our World

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

Find out more

'Music has the ability to inspire'

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

Watch the film