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Music for wellbeing? Reflections on research and implications for practice

Wednesday 20 January 2021, 4.00PM

Speaker(s): Caroline Waddington-Jones (University of York)

This research seminar will explore the relationship between musical participation and wellbeing through reflecting on a collaborative research project that evaluated the impact of PRS Foundation’s New Music Biennial on various communities within Hull. Humans have been concerned with living well since ancient times, but our interest in wellbeing has intensified over the last couple of decades. More recently, the focus has shifted to the potential therapeutic benefits that the arts might offer us, with social prescribing being one example. Whilst music should be valued for its own sake, in the UK’s current political and economic climate where funding for the arts is scarce and the place of music in the education system is under threat, demonstrating the value of music to funders and policymakers has become important. Research in music and wellbeing is growing but there are various issues that are still being addressed, not least: what is wellbeing and how should we evaluate it? In this seminar, I will explore two composer residencies from the New Music Biennial project and will reflect on various ethical, methodological, and practical challenges for research in music and wellbeing.

Caroline Waddington-Jones

Caroline joined the University of York in 2019 as a Lecturer in Music Education, having previously held lectureships at the University of Hull, the University of Derby, and the University of Roehampton. She has published in various leading peer-reviewed journals in music education and psychology, as well as guest-editing a special issue of Empirical Musicology Review and co-editing a volume on music and empathy research for Routledge with Dr Elaine King. She is also a member of the editorial board for the Journal of Music, Health, and Wellbeing. Caroline’s research interests include technology and music learning; music and wellbeing; equality, diversity, and inclusion in music; and music and empathy. One of her current research projects (funded by UKRI via Closing the Gap) seeks to facilitate music-making through technology and reduce social isolation for adults with severe mental illness; another (funded by Paul Hamlyn Foundation and SEMPRE) aims to develop and evaluate a new online resource for non-music specialist teachers in special schools to help to address the current equality gap in music provision for children with complex needs. Caroline has a strong commitment to musical inclusion, and works with organisations such as Live Music Now, Music in Hospitals and Care, and The Amber Trust to bring more music-making opportunities to disabled children and young people and to support their musical development.

Location: Meeting ID: 915 8006 2656 Passcode: 840125