Whether you're applying for funding or taking part in music advocacy, we've brought together a range of resports, resources and further reading that provide evidence of the wide-ranging benefits (to individuals and communities) of amateur music.
In this guidance you will find:
- reports and resources to help you advocate or lobby for amateur music, e.g. with your local authority
- useful figures and quotes to support funding applications or include in your press releases or on your website
- see where government and local authority thinking lies in respect of music and the arts
- point you to relevant research on the benefits of music for individuals and communities.
If there are further resources we should link to here, please get in touch.
- Statistics, figures and reports on the value of music and the arts
- Statistics, figures and reports on the value of community groups and volunteering
- Evidence of benefits of music/arts
- Local authorities and the arts
- Toolkits and advocacy templates
- Evidence/reports/articles on benefits of music on health and wellbeing
- Music education
In addition to the specific items above, www.culturecase.org provides a fantastic free resource summarising research reports into a wide range of arts related matters.
Statistics, figures and reports on the value of music and the arts
- Contribution of the arts and culture industry to the national economy: economic statistics on the arts and the national economy
- Arts Index: The National Campaign for the Arts' unique annual publication with statistics on the performing arts
- Our Creative Talent: the only report on voluntary arts in England, so even if published 2007, 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.
- Making Music’s latest Treasurers’ Survey (2013) results
Measuring Music is UK Music’s annual report into the economic value of the music industry – though that refers to the professional sector, still useful for statistics
- Warwick Commission report of 2015: the important and very influential report into the Cultural and Creative Industries, with lots of useful quotes:
- The ecology of Culture: on looking at culture as an ecology, with interlinked and mutually influential spheres of publicly funded culture, homemade culture (that’s you amateur music groups) and commercial culture
Statistics, figures and reports on the value of community groups and volunteering
- The value of the community sector – What makes community groups special?
Hidden diamonds: Uncovering the true value of sport volunteers: about volunteering in sport, but its conclusions are very likely to be valid for volunteers in music groups, too, and the value they bring to their communities.
- In giving, how much do we receive? The social value of volunteering: About the value of volunteering by the Chief Economist from the Bank of England, no less.
- Community Life Survey: you might also find these statistics useful to quote which relate to volunteering.
Evidence of the benefits of music/arts
- The Social Impact of the Arts in Liverpool 2015/16: indicative of the positive benefits of the Arts
- The value of arts and culture to people and society: a review of the evidence for the benefits of the Arts to society.
- Creativity Matters: as above but specifically on Scotland.
- The ice-breaker effect: singing mediates fast social bonding: on the positive effects on social bonding of singing in groups.
- A review of the Social Impacts of Culture and Sport
- How public investment in the arts supports the growth of the creative industries: report from Creative Industries Federation
- 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.
Local authorities and the arts
On with the show: supporting local arts & culture: reasons local authorities invest in the arts and benefits to them.
- Understanding the value arts and culture organisations place on support from local authorities: a report about London, but applicable everywhere.
- The role of local authorities in creative ageing: second edition with new case studies from councils across the UK.
- London local government’s support for arts and culture: how London councils support the arts, with figures and ways of engaging with local authorities that are applicable to others, too
Toolkits and advocacy templates
- Arts Council England have published an Advocacy Toolkit which includes helpful arguments and how-to guides.
Singing for Health Guides: guides for creating and running singing groups with people with various health issues
- How to write to your MP, MEP, MSP, councillor.
- Find out more about your MP and the members of the House of Lord as well as procedures, All Party Parliamentary Groups and more.
Evidence/reports/articles on the benefits of music on health and wellbeing
- 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.
- Nordoff Robbins Evidence Bank: lists studies related to all sorts of conditions, though mainly music therapy based.
- 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.
- How Can Music Therapy Help Stroke Survivors?: music and stroke patients (and contrary to the title it doesn’t just talk about professional music therapy).
- Music Therapy to Benefit Individuals with Parkinson’s Disease
- Music as Medicine.
- Using the arts to uplift people in hospitals: on an arts programme in Salisbury Hospital.
- A controlled evaluation of the health benefits of a participative community singing programme for older people.
- Other studies on the impact of arts on health via the Sidney De Haan Research centre:
- Community Singing Programme for Older People
- Singing and COPD Project report
- Singing and mental health: two reports from projects in Kent
- Singing and Dementia Project report; and Evaluation of the 'Singing for the Brain' Training Course
- Music for Change: Early Years Music Project; Haringey Lullabies Project; Music Start Project Report: on music for young people
- 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:
Singing and Health: A systematic mapping review of non-clinical research: large scale international study showing choir members report statistically significantly better health and wellbeing than groups not in choirs:
- Wellbeing in Four Policy Areas: a report by the All Parliamentary Group on Wellbeing Economics: how to use wellbeing analysis to argue for arts and culture spend
- 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 oldern 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.
- This website by the National Alliance for Arts Health and Wellbeing also has lots more research on arts and health, with useful summaries.
- Making Music: ABRSM’s report into music learning in the last decade:
- Write a letter to help protect music and arts education in schools. Bacc for the Future, the Cultural Learning Alliance and What Next? have produced a toolkit to help get you started.
- The government’s National Plan for Music Education, written by Darren Henley, now Chief Executive of Arts Council England.
- The Power of Music is a report by the Institute of Education’s Sue Hallam and below there are links for the full report, the executive summary and the one page quick-overview-with-soundbites you can easily use and adapt for your own lobbying or arguments:
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.