Transforming Communities

The Role of Live Music to Tackle Health Inequalities

LMN South West has been chosen for the second year running to present at this years' United Kingdom Public Health Conference to be held in Brighton on 26th March 2009.

The presentation will explore how participatory live music workshops are used to re-engage excluded and socially disaffected groups, particularly people accessing prison and youth offending services.

LMN South West's presentation is based on its work on the highly regarded Music Space and Music Space: Next projects. These have demonstrated that music helps foster a sense of self, place and belonging, through sharing of life experiences, musical influences, and cultural understanding. As a result, participants have acquired social and work-ready skills, and a positive approach to active citizenship. Creative music-making processes are pro-actively used to deliver more holistic approaches to individual growth and development.

There is a growing recognition in both the statutory and voluntary sectors, that a number of economic/social determinants and disparities profoundly affect life-circumstances. The presentation explores the role of music to help counteract negative pasts, for people who have experienced family breakdown, poor educational outcomes, unemployment, poor housing or homelessness.

LMN South West's work in the prison and youth justice sector has enabled participants to find self-expression, strengthen personal confidence and acquire new skills through active music making. It has also supported workforce development, with LMN musicians receiving specific training to work in the health and justice sectors. The Music Space project is also producing a personal Effectiveness and Employability qualification – developed in partnership between Live Music Now! South West, Exeter University, and Justice Systems.

Through demonstrating the positive health and social benefits to participants from involvement in live music, the project supports a growing movement to establish an entitlement to cultural activity.

Further information from:

Rita Vail, Vail & Associates, T: 020 7738 0722 – M: 07968 721062 [email protected] Pictures available: – please call or email

Editor's Notes

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