Earlier this month, Live Music Now signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the Sidney De Haan Research Centre for Arts and Health, together with the Royal Society for Public Health (RSPH), British Lung Foundation (BLF) and the Mental Health Foundation.
The Sidney De Haan Centre is internationally recognised for its commitment to researching the potential value of music, and other participative arts activities, in the promotion of wellbeing and health of individuals and communities.
LMN's Executive Director described our role in this agreement, "Live Music Now is one of the UK's largest arts and health organisations, delivering over 2,500 interactive concerts a year to people in a range of challenging circumstances. We regularly see that experiences with high quality musicians can give people a whole new approach to life, and dramatically improve their wellbeing. We are delighted to be working with the Sidney De Haan Research Centre and the other partners to this historic partnership to explore new ways to bring these extraordinary benefits to people all around the country."
This progressive step in the relationship between the Sidney De Haan Research Centre and the four national organisations is a key step towards future collaborative research projects to help promote the physical and psychological benefits of participating in arts activities for improved general health.
Professor Stephen Clift, Director of the Sidney De Haan Research Centre at Canterbury Christ Church University, said: "Research is not sufficient by itself to change the perceptions of how arts can benefit general health and wellbeing. We need to be able to work together and share knowledge to address the bigger issue: persuading health commissioners and policy makers of the importance of being able to offer arts on prescription.
"Showing, demonstrating and telling the testimonies of people who have benefited from activities such as group singing, is as important as the research. The partnerships that we are entering into today will help us on the journey of influencing politicians, policy makers and servants."
Professor Rama Thirunamachandran, Vice-Chancellor of Canterbury Christ Church University, said: "This is a moment of celebration and as a University we pride ourselves on areas of excellence in research and knowledge transfer that will really make a difference to lives of everyone.
"The Sidney De Haan Research Centre for Arts and Health is a jewel in our crown. It is an outstanding global centre of excellence, bringing together the arts and health in an important part of the health agenda both nationally and internationally.
"Future advances in knowledge are going to happen at the interface between areas and we need to learn to work together. Today's signing is a great example of multidisciplinary research work adding real value to the lives of people."
Shirley Cramer, CEO Royal Society for Public Health and Institute for Healthcare Managers, opened the event and said: "We are been very proud of our work in arts and health. Our relationship with the University and the Sidney De Haan Research Centre has been very strong and we are pleased to be a part of the developing evidence base around the subject of using arts for improving general health. I think that this a very important day and I am delighted to be able to celebrate it with you all in this historic moment."
LMN Executive Director, Evan Dawson, together with Professor Rama Thirunamachandran, Vice-Chancellor of Canterbury Christ Church University at the Royal Society for Public Health. September 1 2014