Whether you're applying for funding or just want to tell your councillor or MP about your leisure-time music activity, we've brought together a range of reports, research and further reading that provide evidence of the wide-ranging benefits (to individuals and communities) of music and leisure-time musical activity.
You can use all this evidence, which is freely available online, to support funding applications, campaigns and general advocacy.
In addition, this page, www.culturecase.org provides a fantastic free resource summarising research reports into a wide range of arts related matters For research specifically related to arts and health, check out this website: www.artshealthandwellbeing.org.uk/resources/research Arts Council England have produced a useful advocacy toolkit. And you can write to your councillor or MP/MSP/AM using www.writetothem.com
- On music and the arts generally
- The impact of music and the arts
- Focus on local and community
- Music education
- Music and wellbeing
- Our Creative Talent. The only report on voluntary arts in England, so despite being published in 2008, still worth referring to for statistics on participatory arts and crafts activity. Also, as it was prepared for Department of Culture Media and Sport (DCMS), figures carry government weight.
- Taking Part – Arts focus (annual). The Taking Part Survey has run since 2005 and is the key evidence source for DCMS. It is a continuous face to face household survey of adults aged 16 and over in England and children aged 5 to 15 years old, providing reliable national estimates of engagement with the arts, heritage, museums and libraries.
- Treasurers’ Survey (2013) from Making Music
- Singing Europe (2016) report commissioned by the European Choral Association – Europa Cantat (ECA-EC) and funded by the EU, which has useful stats
- Big Choral Census (2017) report by Voices Now to establish some statistics on choirs and leisure-time singers in the UK
- UK Live Music Census (2017) took a snapshot of the live music scene in several cities in the UK on a specific day; valuable stats and insights
2. On music and the arts generally
- Everyday Creativity (2016) is a seminal report by 64 Million Artists for Arts Council England which is a significant step in gaining recognition for leisure-time arts activity
- Towards Cultural Democracy (2017) is another very significant study, by Kings College London, looking at and validating everyone’s creative and cultural capability
- Cultural Democracy in practice (2018) follows on from this study and is published by Arts Council England to encourage arts organisations to engage more and in a better way with their communities
- Understand the Value of Arts and Culture was a major research study as part of the Cultural Value project funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council; published 2016; also as part of this project published 2015 The Ecology of Culture; and another report under this project is The Cultural Value of Live Music from the Pub to the Stadium
- Contribution of the arts and culture industry to the national economy (2015) economic statistics on the arts and the national economy, published by the Arts Council of England
- Arts Index: The National Campaign for the Arts' annual publication with statistics on the performing arts
- Measuring Music is UK Music’s annual report into the economic value of the music industry – though it refers to the professional sector, it is still useful for statistics
- Warwick Commission report of 2015: an important and very influential report into the Cultural and Creative Industries, with lots of useful quotes
- The Culture White Paper (2016) lays out government thinking on the arts
- The civic role of arts organisations: a literature review for the Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation (2016) and a report, Inquiry into the Civi Role of Arts organisations, Phase 1 (2017) from the Gulbenkian-funded inquiry into the civic role of the arts.
- I’d Love To Live There! Planning for Culture and the Arts (2016) Guide 6 in a series from the Town and Country Planning Association on building new garden cities
3. The impact of music and the arts
- Making Music Making Communities (2018) a study into the impact of leisure-time music groups on their communities, co-commissioned by Making Music
- The value of arts and culture to people and society: a review of the evidence for the benefits of the arts to society, published by the Arts Council of England in 2015
- Creativity Matters (2017) as above but specifically on Scotland
- A review of the Social Impacts of Culture and Sport (2015) by the Culture and Sport Evidence Programme (case)
- How public investment in the arts supports the growth of the creative industries (2015) report from the Creative Industries Federation
- The Social Impact of the Arts in Liverpool 2015/16: indicative of the positive benefits of the Arts
- The ice-breaker effect: singing mediates fast social bonding: on the positive effects on social bonding of singing in groups
4. Focus on local and community
- Funding Arts and Culture in a Time of Austerity (2016) report by the New Local Government Network
- On with the show: supporting local arts & culture: reasons local authorities invest in the arts and benefits to them (2014) report complemented by report above
- Understanding the value arts and culture organisations place on support from local authorities (2014) report about London, but applicable everywhere
- London local government’s support for arts and culture (2015) How London councils support the arts, with figures and ways of engaging with local authorities that are applicable to others, too
- Civil Society Futures: The Story of our future (2018) report by this independent inquiry funded by various charitable bodies, chaired by Julia Unwin, former Charity Commissioner and former CEO of Joseph Rowntree Foundation
- The role of grassroots arts activities in communities (2011) a report by Voluntary Arts and the Third Sector Research Centre at Birmingham University
- Pathways: Getting Connected in the Voluntary Arts (2015) a report commissioned by Voluntary Arts
- Community Life Survey published annually by DCMS, about volunteering, charitable giving wiht interesting stats
- Making Common Cause (2018) collection of essays published by Voluntary Arts
- Reaching Out - The impact of music-making on individual and community development in Plymouth: This report shows how music activity had a significant impact not just on individuals, but on relationships and on the community.
- In giving, how much do we receive? The social value of volunteering (2014) speech about the value of volunteering by the Chief Economist from the Bank of England
- Hidden diamonds: Uncovering the true value of sport volunteers (2015) report about volunteering in sport, but its findings are very relatable to volunteering in music groups, summarising the main benefits to individuals and communities
5. Music education
- National Plan for Music Education, (England, 2011) written by Darren Henley, now Chief Executive of Arts Council England, due to be consulted on during 2019, for new version to start from 2020
- Understanding how income affects likelihood of learning an instrument (2018) Musicians Union report
- Instrumental Music Services survey (2017) Scotland, on the provision of instrumental tuition by Scottish local authorities
- Key Data on Music Education Hubs (2017) England, published by Arts Council England
- Changes to Music Secondary School Curriculum Provision over time (2018) research from University of Sussex
- Making Music Member Survey on music education (2018)
- Consultation on the Future of Music Education (2018) from the Incorporated Society of Musicians
- Musical Routes (2015), a report by Sarah Derbyshire on the landscape of music education
- Social return on investment on Sistema Cymru (2017) report by the University of Bangor
- In Harmony Liverpool – Impact on Early Years Education (2016)
- Evaluation of In Harmony: final report (2016), by National Foundation for Education Research and Arts Council England
- Making Music (2014), an ABRSM report into learning and teaching of music
- The Power of Music by Professor Susan Hallam (2014) from the Institute of Learning, a powerful report on the benefits for young people from music
- Arts in Education toolkit (2018) from Bacc for the Future, the Cultural Learning Alliance and What Next? to give you some practical tools to make the case for the arts in education
- Manifesto for Music Education in Scotland (2017), by the University of Edinburgh
- Hitting the Right Note - Inquiry into funding for and access to music education (2018), report by the Culture, Welsh Language and Communications Committee of the National Assembly for Wales
- Re-tuning Our Ambition for Music Learning, by the Music Commission (2019) The Music Commission’s full report of its inquiry
- What's going on now? (2019), an examination of music education and youth music-making in Scotland, commissioned by Creative Scotland and conducted by The Royal Conservatoire of Scotland
- The Sound of the Next Generation (2019) a review of children and young people's relationship with music, carried out by Music for Youth and Ipsos Mori
6. Music and wellbeing
- Creative Health: the Arts for Health and Wellbeing (2017) is a significant report by the All Parliamentary Party Group on Arts Health And Wellbeing
- Dr Daisy Fancourt is a leading researcher in this field. This document lists some of her papers - most of them are available freely online. She has also written the book Arts in Health: Designing and researching interventions (2017)
- Sydney de Haan Research Centre at Canterbury Christ Church University is the foremost institute for research in this area in the UK and you can find all its published research collated on their website
- The website of the National Alliance for Arts and Health collates most of the research available in this field, with a brief summary of each report
- Singing for Older People’s Health and Well-being toolkit (2010)
- Five Ways to Wellbeing Toolkit (2014) by Voluntary Arts
- Music making with young people on the autistic spectrum (2015) published by Sound Connections
Some other resarch, some of it quite specific
- The benefits of singing by professor Graham Welch for Sing Up
- Places Spaces People and Wellbeing (2018) briefing by the What Works Wellbeing centre
- Healthy Attendance? The impact of cultural engagement and sports participation on health and satisfaction with life in Scotland (2013) a Scottish report
- Live Music in Care (2018) report by Live Music Now and the University of Winchester
- Dementia and Music: article on the effect of music on patients with dementia, and organisations working in music in this field
- 5 Reasons Why Music Boosts Brain Activity: Articles on music and dementia
- Music as Medicine: evidencing the benefits of live music: Live Music Now! has a useful report evidencing the benefits of music, with links to others.
- Music Therapy to Benefit Individuals with Parkinson’s Disease
- Music as Medicine
- Role of music in the management of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD): a literature review: Review of studies on impact of singing on COPD (Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease)
- Music for Life Project: The role of participation in community music activities in promoting social engagement and well-being in older people: Music For Life project report on singing with older people and the beneficial results:
- The Contribution of Community Singing Groups to the WellBeing of Older People: Participant Perspectives from the United Kingdom: report on the contribution of community singing groups to the wellbeing of older people.
- Effectiveness and cost-effectiveness of community singing on mental health-related quality of life of older people: randomised controlled trial: Report on effectiveness of community singing on mental-health related quality of life in older people.
- Staying engaged: Health patterns of older Americans who participate in the arts. An analysis based on the health and retirement study, concluding that greater frequency of arts attendance and creation were positively linked to health outcomes.
We hope you find this Making Music resource useful. If you have any comments or suggestions about the guidance please contact us. Whilst every effort is made to ensure that the content of this guidance is accurate and up to date, Making Music do not warrant, nor accept any liability or responsibility for the completeness or accuracy of the content, or for any loss which may arise from reliance on the information contained in it.