Transforming Communities

Supporting the Skills Development, Wellbeing and Job Satisfaction of the Care Workforce Through Live Music in Care

As recognised in the 2023 Creative Health review[1], compelling evidence shows[2] that music is a powerful tool in care, health and wellbeing, including in dementia care.

In addition, carefully delivered music programmes can offer care professional workforce development, bringing new tools to the care tool kit, benefitting team member wellbeing and job satisfaction, and giving them new ways to demonstrate and take leadership .

Live Music Now’s innovative Live Music In Care programme is a hands-on workforce development programme delivered in care homes for older people living with dementia.

Live Music in Care’s return on investment benefits for the Adult Social Care Workforce include:

  • Increased staff understanding, confidence, and skills in the use music of music, as part of their day to day care tool kit;[3]
  • Improving the quality of person-centred care.[4]
  • Support for team wellbeing, enhancing job satisfaction, feeding the connection and relationships essential to person-centred care;
  • Team members achievements recognised through an Open Award in Musical Care; and
  • Potentially supporting retention and recruitment

Live Music Now’s study with the University of Winchester demonstrates how carefully delivered live music contributes to person-centered care and makes care homes happier places to live and work. The study seeded our Live Music in Care model; innovative hands-on workforce development, increasing staff understanding, confidence, and skills in the use of music.

Developing Skills, Confidence and Connection

Tracey Judd, Lead Lifestyle Coordinator at Appleby House care home (Care UK), said,

“Their confidence has got so great that they will actually stand up in front of the choir and lead them in a song; going from being someone very shy to standing up and leading.”[6]

Care teams work alongside carefully selected and trained professional musicians. Together they deliver participatory music activities working towards a Badge of Excellence in Musical Care. The team members take increasing leadership, nurtured and supported every step of the way by the musicians. The time spent planning and reflecting alongside the musicians is as important as the side-by-side live music activity delivery.

It enhances capacity to lead structured activities and helps care workers draw on music in day-to-day care, to support people experiencing distress and anxiety, and to ease transitions and intimate care.

“When Mary first came she could not speak. Now when I do her personal care she’s talking and telling me to get on with it and there is also real connection with Peter (her husband)”

Demonstrating Leadership, Revealing Hidden Strengths

The Live Music in Care model also provides a great opportunity for team members to demonstrate leadership in creative ways, revealing hidden strengths.

Bogumil Cwiklak, Manager OSJCT Monkscroft Care Centre said,

“It has turned our staff into leaders. It has allowed the team to come out of themselves and show their strengths.”

Supports Team Wellbeing and Job Satisfaction

It also supports their wellbeing, enhances job satisfaction and feeds the connection and relationships essential to person-centred care.

“I love having the musicians in on a Wednesday. The job is very hard, and the music helps my mental health. It helps me feel more positive and productive.” Care team member, The Beeches
“We get bogged down with cooking and personal care, and making connections can get lost. Doing the music sessions had a huge impact. They helped to get the connections back. Not only for the relationships with residents but also as a team as well.” Indira Baster  Registered  Manager Params Care Home[7]

Improving the Quality of Person-centred Care

One Live Music In Care home in Wales reported a significant reduction in the use of medication[8] and in another it contributed to an improved CQC Quality rating. [9]

“I think that the biggest impact overall that we are seeing through your input… is a 50% reduction in the use of all sedative medications being administered and 100% reduction of all PRN medication!” Adam Hesselden, Manager, Woffington House Care Home, Wales

Developing musical care through the Live Music In Care programme can support workforce development and wellbeing, increase job satisfaction and potentially support retention and recruitment. It impacts positively on the quality of person-centred care. [10]

To find our more about how the Live Music Now program can support your people, email [email protected]


[1] Creative Health Review – National Centre for Creative Health
[2] The Effect of Musical Activities on Health and Wellbeing, a Scoping Review
[3] Live Music in Care – ITV 
[4] Chief Inspector of the Care Quality Commission on the role of music in care homes
[5] Live Music in Care report  University of Winchester
[6] Appleby House Case Study – Live Music in Care
[7] Params Case Study – Building Confidence and Connection through Live Music in Care
[8] Woffington House, Tredegar, Cymru Case study
[9] CQC awards North West care home Sabrina House ‘Outstanding’ rating. Live Music in Care programme contributer to success.. 
[10] Advice for care homes without music, from care workers