Innovative new workshops set to explore music, mental health and wellbeing

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Orchestra instruments lean against seats in a performance hall

A new collaboration between Children in Scotland, Scottish Ensemble and the University of Stirling, is opening up opportunities for children and young people to experience a diverse range of live music. 

Over the next month, more than 75 children and young people, musicians, youth workers and mental health professionals, will take part in free Innovation Labs across Scotland, where attendees will enjoy live performances from pioneering orchestra Scottish Ensemble, who will play everything from Debussy to Billie Eilish. 

The experimental workshops will allow Stirling researchers to explore the impact of live music on mental health and wellbeing, and will include a programme of fun and engaging activities, all designed to find ways to make live music more accessible for all, while generating new ideas for future projects. 

Portrait photograph of Dr Lynne Gilmour. She has shoulder length blonde hair and wears a grey blazer.
Lynne Gilmour
Research Fellow, NMAHP-RU
Listening the views of children and young people will make sure that any interventions developed are acceptable and meaningful to them.

Dr Lynne Gilmour, a researcher based at the University’s Nursing, Midwifery and Allied Health Professions Research Unit, said: “These workshops follow on from a specialist interest research group that found there was little research into the impact of live music on children and young people’s mental health and wellbeing. We heard from musicians, live music venue providers, mental health practitioners, youth workers and young people themselves, that live music could be helpful in many ways, but there are barriers to children and young people being able to access it. 

“This project is about asking children and young people what a live music intervention might look like, and co-producing ideas with them that we can pilot and test. Listening to the views of children and young people will make sure that any interventions developed are acceptable and meaningful to them.”

Musicians pose with their instruments on a black background with white text advertising the workshops talking place in Inverness, Stirling and Glasgow

The project is funded by the Scottish Government’s Youth Music Initiative through Creative Scotland. 

Putting children and young people at the heart of finding ways to break down barriers to accessing live music, shows and concerts, the face-to-face workshops will take place in Glasgow, Stirling and Inverness throughout May and June. 

In 2021, project partners delivered four workshops to explore the impact of live music experiences on children and young people’s mental health. You can read more information about the project in this news article on the University of Stirling's website.

The up-coming Innovation Labs will seek to expand and improve this area of research.

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