A national map documenting all Singing for Health and Wellbeing groups in the Republic of Ireland is now available on the Sing Ireland website. The database is a unique collaboration between Sing Ireland and the Music Therapy Department at the University of Limerick.
While there is a growing body of evidence around the social, psychological and physical benefits of singing, there is a paucity of national maps of this nature. This resource is the first-ever national mapping of group singing for health and wellbeing in the ROI and one of few internationally. It serves as a roadmap for people wishing to sing for their health, establish or improve service provision and network with others. It is hoped that this map will encourage high quality practice and investment as well as providing a useful resource for all living in Ireland.
The evidence to date supports singing for health and wellbeing as a potentially cost-effective intervention, including increased feelings of social connection and enhanced memory and coping skills for individuals with dementia and their carers; positive experiences of group singing for individuals with cancer; respiratory wellbeing for people with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), and improvements in vocal quality of life for individuals with Parkinson’s disease. Social, psychological, and physical benefits are documented for the general public, homeless and marginalized individuals, adults with a chronic mental health condition and/or an intellectual or physical disability, and staff workplace choirs.
– Dr Hilary Moss, Senior Lecturer of Music Therapy, Chair of the Arts and Health Research Network, University of Limerick.
This project is a unique collaboration between Sing Ireland and the University of Limerick. Sing Ireland strategically seeks to enable and enfuse singing as a means to enhance people’s lives throughout Irish society and in a multitude of health and wellbeing settings. They have agreed to host this interactive map to ensure the usefulness of this resource both now and in the future.
In 2020-21, researchers at UL contacted 2,736 Irish stakeholders with links to singing for health and wellbeing, collecting data on singing groups and choirs across the country.
The results form a national and international public resource for singers, referrers, policy makers, carers and other stakeholders invested in singing for health and wellbeing. Several gaps in provision have been identified and it is hoped that data contained here will encourage more people to try singing for health and wellbeing, provide compelling evidence for investment in new services and encourage stakeholders to establish groups in areas of low provision.
The study was led by Dr Hilary Moss and Ms Liz Helitzer from the University of Limerick. They focus on community-engaged research that explores the contribution music can make to health and wellbeing.