Free CPD Opportunity – MOT: Musicians working in Challenging Settings

MOT: Musicians working in Challenging Settings

Weds: 11 March – Mon 16 March 2020

Snape Maltings, Suffolk


Snape Maltings Creative Campus is curating a 5-day residential course of rejuvenation, inspiration and support for experienced music leaders working in challenging settings.


Facilitated by musician /coach Katherine Zeserson (, this MOT is an immersive retreat consisting of reflective sessions, creative workshops and other interactive activities designed to help musicians build resilience and take stock of their working lives. Participants need to be experienced music leaders currently working with people who are living in challenging circumstances. Contexts of work might include care homes, prisons, hospitals, hospices or other relevant community settings. There are 8 places available.


The MOT will take place at Snape Maltings from lunchtime to lunchtime, 11-16 March 2020. There will be no fee to take part and we are able to cover any UK travel costs. Accommodation and meals will be provided.


Feed back from last year’s delegates:


‘To share this amount of time with 7 other like minded but all very different people while being skillfully guided by Katherine and sublimely supported by the Snape Team has undoubtedly had a profound and sustaining impact not only on my professional work but also my personal life. The holistic nature of the course was congruent to my way of thinking and so the whole experience has already begun and will continue to have far reaching effects.’


‘I think the course gave me some perspective on the true challenges of the work I have been doing and by helping me redistribute my priorities I will be doing stronger, better work and taking better care of myself.’


‘The facilitation was wonderful, so supportive and exploring with space to do this was amazing. The group was so lovely – I felt safe straight away. Just really eye opening and something that I think I will keep looking back on to help me reflect.’


Full details on how to apply are on our website. Closing date for applications is Mon 6th Jan 2020. Successful applicants will be notified by 24th January 2020, when further programme details will be confirmed.


Kind regards



Dr. Amy Mallett

Programme Development Manager, Creative Campus

01728 687207 or 07748070647


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Music on Prescription: Musical Connections & York Medical Group

Fiona Chapman, Project Director at Musical Connections, writes about the impact of the Music on Prescription initiative which was co-run between Musical Connections and York Medical Group.

For over 10 years, Musical Connections has run music groups and choirs for older people, particularly those who are vulnerable and at risk of social isolation, in care and community settings across York. Feedback from participants is consistently positive, with over 90% saying that their involvement has improved their wellbeing by giving them opportunities to connect with other music-lovers in a supportive and sociable environment.

York Medical Group were keen to bring the benefits of this work to their patients, and senior staff worked with Musical Connections to make it happen – they contributed to funding bids, made space available for the groups to take place at two of their GP surgeries, and made a concerted effort to promote the benefits of this work to staff and patients.

Thanks to funding from the Postcode Community Trust, the groups were able to begin in September 2018, and since then, a total of 48 patients have taken part, with 28 attending regularly (ie for a minimum of 5 sessions, but usually much more often). Undoubtedly, recruitment has benefited not only from recent efforts in the media to promote singing for mental and physical health, but also from the obvious enthusiasm of some of the doctors, who have sung alongside their patients in Tower Court’s waiting room on more than one occasion!

So far, 22 participants have completed feedback questionnaires, with very positive results:

  • 21 said that taking part in their group had improved their overall wellbeing
  • 19 said that it had specifically improved their physical wellbeing (5 of these said greatly)
  • ALL said it had improved their confidence
  • ALL said that participating in their group made them feel generally happier and positive about life (15 said this was to a great extent)
  • 5 said they had gone to their GP less since joining their group

Several have articulated specific benefits:

‘It’s fun and you don’t have to be able to sing well! It’s socialising for older people – it gets you back going again. I’ve been widowed for nearly 2 years, and I came here after the first year, and it made a difference. You’ve got to have a reason to get up and that’s what this does for you’

‘My blood pressure is high on a normal day – when I see the nurse after this, it’s good. The nurse asked what had I been doing and I said ‘singing’!’

Group participants do not have to have any musical training and there is no pressure to perform, although several chose to do so at Musical Connections’ recent 10th anniversary concert at the National Centre for Early Music. Given that they had only been singing together since September, this was a fantastic achievement and a reflection of the confidence and relationships that have developed during weekly sessions.

The Postcode Community Trust funding comes to an end in July, but new funds have been secured, to ensure that the groups can continue beyond this period. We continue to work closely with York Medical Group to understand the impact of this work on their patients.

by Fiona Chapman
Project Director, Musical Connections