The University of Limerick has launched a nationwide survey of singing for health and wellbeing groups. The aim is to create the first ever comprehensive map of singing and health initiatives across the Republic of Ireland.
In recent times there has been an explosion in research and practice in the area of singing, health and wellbeing. Research indicates a range of wellbeing gains from singing in particular (as opposed to music listening and other music activity), including physical, cognitive and social benefits (Moss et al. 2017; Dingle et al. 2019). A wealth of research at the University of Limerick (UL) focuses on the health and wellbeing benefits of group singing in a choir.
A team at UL is now looking to augment the already robust and varied evidence-base of singing, health and wellbeing with a research project which will be the first ever, comprehensive map of singing for health and wellbeing in Ireland and singing on social prescription. The project will explore the role of singing to reduce social isolation and support positive mental health (Fancourt and Finn 2019; Moss and O’Donoghue 2019). Social prescribing will also feature prominently.
This research study is being led by Dr Hilary Moss and Ms Liz Helitzer. They aim to catalogue every group in Ireland that exists, understand more about what is available and where, identify gaps in service, commonalities and challenges, and determine whether service users are ever advised to avail of singing through social prescription.
To date, research and practice in this area can be piecemeal. We know that there are many high quality singing groups and choirs across Ireland supporting people with enduring health conditions but many of these are working in silos, unsupported and isolated. We don’t know how many choirs there are, which clinical groups are most supported and whether geographical gaps in provision exist.
This research will be a publicly available document which it is hoped will encourage knowledge sharing, resource sharing and mutual learning to occur. It will also lead to the creation of a network for skill sharing and inform policy regarding provision of singing for health initiatives across Ireland.
Please complete the survey if you run a choir/singing group with a specific health/wellbeing focus:
Deadline for survey completion: 31 December 2020.
If you would like to find out more about the research project or share knowledge you have in this area*, please contact Liz at:
*The research team are particularly keen to hear from researchers working in the field of singing/music and/or social prescription, people who participate in such choirs or have engaged in social prescription as a service user and individuals involved in the social prescription referral process.