Using the power of music to improve health and social care

West End star Gareth Gates will be among the speakers at a national conference in Nottingham looking at how music can be used in health and social care.

The University of Nottingham will be hosting the first Power of Music and Social Care Conference on Friday 12 October, which brings together care partners interested in the role music can have in quality of living and care.

In partnership with the Room 217 Foundation, Live Music Now, MHA and Nottingham Lakeside Arts, the conference is for anyone who wants to learn more about the role music plays in care including care providers, family, volunteer caregivers, patients and musicians.

Compared with treatment by healthcare professionals, medicine or technology, music is a relatively inexpensive resource. There are infinite forms of music and many ways it can be used in health and social care. There is also a vast amount of research into the use of music to heal.

The one-day conference will feature interactive workshops showcasing local performers and projects, such as Opus Music, the Nottingham People’s Choir and Soundtrack to My Life. There will also be a host of expert speakers - including stage and television star Gareth Gates, who will tell the story of how music has helped him in his life.

Bev Foster, Executive Director of Room 217 - Care through Music, one of the conference organisers, said: “A number of presenters will be sharing evidence around music and its effects on people living with dementia, rehabilitation within neurological conditions, and programming in care settings. Research is also showing music can reduce isolation and loneliness, particularly amongst older adults.”

This unique conference will enable people to learn about the benefits of music, with the aim of encouraging people to consider using it more as a care intervention in everyday practice.

Justine Schneider, Professor of Mental Health and Social Care at the University of Nottingham, said: “The potential of music in care is massive. It can humanise care settings by reminding us that we all have feelings as well as bodies. It can bridge the gap between young and old, trainee and teacher, patient and professional. Music can even make communication possible when language is lost. Music inspires and unites people.

“At this conference we want to focus on the power of music to improve health and social care, by describing the evidence and sharing examples of good practice from across the region. There will be call to action so that everyone is invited to take steps when they leave the conference to help promote the power of music in care.”

The conference is being held at the East Midlands Conference Centre from 8.30am - 4.30pm and tickets are 80.