Aesop Arts and Society

Aesop is a charity and social enterprise. Aesop is a bridge-builder, connecting the worlds of health and the arts. It’s helping health harness the powers of the arts, and helping the arts gear up to deliver health improvement.

Tim Joss:

T: 01993 870161

1st floor, 3 Welch Way, Witney, Oxfordshire OX28 6JH

Age of Creativity


The Age of Creativity is a network of more than 1,000 professionals who all believe that creativity and culture supports older people to experience better health, wellbeing and quality of life. Our network is free and accessible to all.

Tei Williams:

T: 07957 664 116

Art at the Heart of the RUH

Art at the Heart supports the RUH Bath with an award-winning art and design programme that stimulates healing and wellbeing, and creates an uplifting environment for patients, visitors and staff. Our Soundbite Music Programme brings a varied line-up of music to patients, staff and visitors at the RUH; this involves live musical performances as well as musical interactions with our Musician in Residence. Soundbite aims to create an uplifting and positive environment, creating long-lasting relationships between the RUH and the wider community.

Name of contact: Frankie Simpkins

T:01225 824987


Address: Art at the Heart of the RUH, Second Floor, Bath and Wessex House, Royal United Hospitals Bath NHS Foundation Trust, Combe Park, Bath, BA1 3NG

Axxonet Global Ltd.

Health diagnostics, device development, health research, creativity to address health challenges.

Name of contact: Prof. Geetha Upadhyaya

M: 07905336031


Address: 56 Bradford Road, Guiseley, Leeds LS20 8NH

Dr Freya Bailes

I am one of the directors of the ‘Music for Healthy Lives Research & Practice Network’ and the Programme leader of the MA, PGDip and PGCert Music and Wellbeing Programmes at the University of Leeds.

I combine my research experience as a Music Psychologist with my education and insight as a musician to investigate the factors that make musical engagement so beneficial for so many people, and in so many different ways.

Prior to joining the University of Leeds, I held appointments that include Lecturer in Music at the University of Hull (2012-15), Senior Research Fellow at the MARCS Institute at the University of Western Sydney (2007-12), and Post-doctoral fellow at the University of Canberra (2004-07), Ohio State University (2003-04) and Universite de Bourgogne (2002-03). I obtained my PhD in 2002 from the University of Sheffield, and since then I have published widely on topics as diverse as musical imagery (i.e. imagining music in the mind’s ear), music and memory, mental representations in musical creativity, therapeutic uses of music, and cognitive and social processes in performance.


Dr. Michael Bonshor

Michael is an experienced music practitioner, workshop leader, music psychologist and researcher. He offers the following services:

1. Qualitative and mixed methods research in the areas of:
– Singing and health, brass band playing and wellbeing, musical participation for mental health service users, community music, lifelong learning, inclusion and diversity in creative arts

2. Independent evaluation of creative and performance-related interventions for education, community and wellbeing.

3. Lectures and seminars on all areas of music psychology, community music, music and wellbeing.

4. Practical workshops and CPD events on:
– Music and health, using singing-related skills to build confidence and improve holistic wellbeing, developing group facilitation skills to maximise confidence and competence in musical ensembles, using positive psychology and mental skills training to manage performance anxiety and boost confidence in a range of musical and non-musical situations, for example: concerts, examinations, auditions and presentation delivery.

5. Conductor training and mentoring, with an emphasis on:
– Encouraging healthy group dynamics, confidence building for ensemble leaders and performers, using verbal and non-verbal communication for increased group cohesion, co-operation, collaboration and community development.

6. Special expertise in helping self-professed ‘non-singers’ to access the wellbeing benefits of singing, in group settings and individual lessons.

Michael is the author of ‘The Confident Choir: A Handbook for Leaders of Group Singing’


Professor Karen Burland

I am one of the Directors of the ‘Music for Healthy Lives Research and Practice Network’. I am a Professor of Applied Music Psychology at the University of Leeds and my research interests centre around musical identities and their role in musical participation in a variety of contexts, including in therapeutic music settings.

I am interested in the impact of life transitions on individuals and understanding the role that identity plays in the ways in which individuals adjust and cope with a range of experiences. This work has been applied in investigations of music technology in therapeutic settings, as well as in Higher Education and professional music contexts. My book ‘Coughing and Clapping: Investigating Audience Experience’, edited with Stephanie Pitts, was published in December 2014.


Professor Stephen Clift

Emeritus Professor, Canterbury Christ Church University, currently leading on the Repository for Arts and Health Resources (, and an RCT on singing and COPD. Visiting Professor, York St. John University, currently guest editor of the International Journal of Community Music, special issue on Community Music and COVID-19, and team member of a projected ‘Singing and Health Research Network.’ Part of a research group at Salzburg University, Austria, working on a systematic review of research on ‘Young People, Arts and Mental Health.’


Cloth Cat Studios Ltd

  • Music based workshops in mental health units in Leeds
  • Music performances by local musicians at mental health units
  • Music workshops and mentoring working with CAMHS at the young offender’s unit in Wetherby
  • Get Your Act Together – Music courses and mentoring programme for young people aged 11-18
  • Man About Town – project to reduce isolation for men living in Leeds through music and related creative arts activity, along with meet ups in a relaxed environment and trips to live music events
  • Programme of music courses, free for any adults in receipt of any means tested benefits, in partnership with the Workers Educational Association

Shelly Johnson:

T: 07793 064890

The Old Chapel, 1 Crossland Court, Czar Street, Holbeck, Leeds LS11 9PR

Made with Music

Made with Music is an award-winning charity providing accessible live music for families of all ages and abilities through mini gigs, workshops, performances, and classes.  We firmly believe that the involvement in musical activities can enhance well-being and improve mental health and all of our work encourage families to experience this together through various projects led by professional musicians. We provide opportunities for families to enjoy live music together through our family friendly, accessible mini-gigs at the Brudenell Social Club and are currently work closely with the perinatal mental health team on two different projects. One supports the recovery of mums through a 10 week singing project for mum and baby. The other is an extension of the first, inviting the whole family to sing together in a weekly family choir. We also run intergenerational singing projects, working closely with older people’s groups and children’s centres across Leeds.  

Hannah Dilworth / Kathryn Sturman 



Motivation and Co. UK Ltd

Motivation & Co. provides physical and mental stimulation sessions throughout the care sector. We have a fully researched session that we deliver, that comprises of Mental stimulation & Cognitive Therapy, Chair Exercises and Games and Music Therapy, a whole host of different therapies can be used to provide the stimulation and motivation that our company promotes and encourages for our clients

Music and the Deaf

Music and the Deaf is the only UK charity entirely dedicated to providing access, education and opportunities in music for deaf people of all ages. The charity has built an international reputation for pushing the boundaries of what deaf people can aspire to and achieve, and is led by Danny Lane, himself a profoundly deaf musician. We provide training, consultancy, workshops, performances and educational resources to schools, music hubs and independent cultural partners so that deaf people of all ages can be fully involved with music. Our ground-breaking projects such as the Deaf Youth Orchestra, Frequalise (music technology for deaf students), Access and Inclusion in Music (AIM) school workshops, and The FORTE Ensemble (a quartet of deaf musicians) have raised awareness of the issues and difficulties surrounding deafness, and combat the sense of isolation that many deaf people can face, encouraging and supporting them in their musical learning.

Danny Lane, Artistic Director (

Musical Connections

Musical Connections aim to enable older, isolated and vulnerable people to lead happier, healthier lives through communal singing and music-making. They currently run 10 weekly music groups and choirs in a range of care and community settings: care-homes, sheltered housing schemes, community centres and GP surgeries. They also run a large programme of intergenerational music events and activities in partnership with local schools, York College and both of the city’s universities. Each year, we work with at least 250 beneficiaries, and a similar number of children and young people.

Fiona Chapman (

Musical Memories

Musical Memories CIC is based in Malton and provides fun, social singing sessions for older people in community venues throughout Ryedale, North Yorkshire. Sessions are totally accessible (and fun) for everyone; featuring live music on piano and guitar, and large-print songbooks covering a large repertoire of tried and tested songs from 1896 to the present day (all arranged to suit older voices).

Over the last four years Musical Memories has delivered over 450 sessions as part of their community programme and has also worked with local lunch clubs, church groups, care homes, hospital patients, GP surgeries, library groups and many more. Participants’ ages range from 30 – 96 and over 1,500 individuals have joined in these singing sessions with over 8,500 attendances. Singing, laughter and chat is the order of the day and everyone leaves these joyful, inclusive sessions feeling happy and wanting more!

Ruth Hannah (

Website / Facebook / Twitter

M: 07527 006402

Malton, North Yorkshire

Music & Wellbeing, University of Sheffield

Music and Wellbeing is a research unit within the Music Department at the University of Sheffield. It was launched in May 2015. Our team is dedicated to studying the role of music in both every day and extraordinary life challenges, with a special focus on improving understanding of how music practices can be adopted to best support optimised, personalised wellbeing. Examples of recent research questions include:

  • Can music help me sleep?
  • In what ways can music support care for individuals living with dementia?
  • How can practice environments be optimised for musicians?
  • In what ways can playing in a musical group benefit but also challenge our wellbeing?
  • How can we support musicians living with depression and anxiety related conditions?
  • In what ways does musical practice impact on the development of children from deprived communities?

All these questions, and more, represent the current project interests within Music and Wellbeing. See our Projects page for more details. You can also visit our YouTube channel, which features videos (talks, video blogs) from the Music & Wellbeing team and our Facebook page for our latest news.

Noise Solution

Noise Solution delivers ‘one to one’ music mentoring programs with people facing challenging circumstances. Often focused on electronic music and beat making, each session is enhanced, supported, and reinforced through the use of our own bespoke social media platform. Our strengths-based approach safely shares participants’ weekly music session highlights, via this platform, with their family and professional key-workers.

By making people feel in control, good at something, and sharing that experience we fulfill a number of known psychological needs required for well-being to flourish. In turn, improved well-being is proven to lead to better engagement, health, and educational outcomes. Noise Solution has been independently found to be highly statistically significant in positively impacting upon well-being.

Simon Glenister – CEO

M: 07949977750

T: 01284 771156

Dr Jane Troughton

After studying English and History of Art (York, 1980-83), I completed a postgraduate diploma in Art Gallery and Museum Studies (Manchester, 1985-86) and worked as a curator in museums for eight years before moving abroad. Back in the UK and more recently, I completed a doctorate on The Role of Music in the Yorkshire Country House 1770-1850 (York, 2015).

I am now in my final year of a masters in music therapy (UWE, Bristol, North Yorkshire Music Therapy Centre). My special interest is in dementia care and the therapeutic benefits of museums: I am currently researching how museums may be used as spaces for music therapy with people living with dementia,  In partnership with museum staff I have delivered music therapy workshops at Lotherton Hall and in the near future plan to set up a choir at the museum for dementia sufferers and their carers.

I am a professionally trained soprano and devise and perform recitals, especially in country-house settings, with my chamber ensemble Bellissime.

M:  077 2418 6767 


Address: 14 St Helen’s Road, York YO24 1HP

Nordoff Robbins

At Nordoff Robbins, everything we do is about people and music. We celebrate the connection and joy music can bring to those with life-limiting illnesses, physical disabilities or emotional challenges. As the UK’s leading independent music therapy charity, we work across the UK offering vital support through our dedicated open access centres and alongside over 150 partner organisations.

Our therapists work in schools, nurseries, hospitals, care homes, prisons and community centres, to make sure that we are reaching and supporting the UK’s most vulnerable and isolated people, when and where they need help most.

Nordoff Robbins is the only UK music therapy charity with a dedicated research team. The research team provides empirical evidence to support the practice of music therapy as well as connecting this practice to the wider social implications of music-making.

Simon Procter – Director of Music Services (Education, Research and Public Affairs):

General Inquiries:

North Yorkshire Music Therapy Centre

 Since 1990, our professional Music Therapists have been helping people across North Yorkshire. Music therapy enables people of all ages and abilities to communicate and express themselves through music, voice, instruments and music technology. It can help people to build confidence, develop social skills, improve dexterity and process emotional or psychological problems.

Laura Festa is currently the Director of the North Yorkshire Music Therapy Centre in Malton, and combines clinical work in SEN schools with the development of the charity. Before training as a music therapist, Laura obtained a Bachelor’s degree in Piano Performance and a Master’s degree in Literature from Roma Tre University, Rome, combining her love for humanistic disciplines. Following this, she worked for ten years in special needs schools with children with ASD and PMLD, and ran her own Music Therapy Centre, working with pregnant women in preventative interventions, focusing on PPP and PPD, victims of sexual abuse and baby loss.  Laura relocated to the UK in 2014 and worked for the MHA in Care Home Settings before starting her role with NYMTC.

Laura Festa (


Dr Simon Procter

I am one of the Directors of the ‘Music for Healthy Lives Research and Practice Network’. I am also a Director of Music Services for Nordoff Robbins (the UK’s largest charitable provider of music therapy services) where I oversee the education, research and public affairs activities, including the Masters and PhD programmes, which are validated by Goldsmiths, University of London.

I am a music therapist, experienced in working in many settings but especially in adult mental health contexts. I am also a music sociologist and I seek to bring sociological perspectives to bear on thinking about music therapy. As a researcher, I am primarily an ethnographer and am interested in capturing aspects of the work and experience of music-making as they occur in real time, as well as in everyday ways that people make use of music and musical interaction to gets things done in life, including their health and relationships, as well as the work that they put in to making this possible.


Craig Robertson

Craig is one of the directors of the Music for Healthy Lives Research and Practice Network and the Research and Development Manager for Arts and Humanities at the University of York. Craig holds a PhD in Music Sociology from University of Exeter. He is on the editorial board for the online peer-reviewed journal Music and the Arts in Action and he is a member of the following research groups: Sociology of the Arts, Art and Conflict, International Peace Research Association and Asia-Pacific Peace Research Association. Previously, Craig was the Head of Research for Nordoff Robbins Music Therapy UK and he has worked on a project for the Post-conflict Reconstruction and Development Unit (PRDU), School of Politics, University of York, funded by the British Council, that investigated the role of the arts in the ‘Arab Spring’ events in 2011-2012.

Craig is particularly interested in how music therapy, music sociology and the arts and culture in general intersect with the field of peacebuilding. He has conducted scholarly research on music and diaspora; music, food and identity; music and cultural identity, emotion and belief structures in Bosnia and Herzegovina, the North African nations affected by the “Arab Spring” and, most recently, in Palestine. He has also been conducting an ethnographic study on the perceptions of music therapy in educational settings.

Kate Wareham

Kate is a PhD student at the University of Sheffield researching everyday music listening amongst young people, with a focus on those who are homeless. Through her research she hopes to contribute to service design which reflects the ways in which young people use music to help them manage and navigate their lives. Find out more here:

Kate Wareham (

Pyramid of Arts

Pyramid of Arts is a Leeds-based arts collective which focuses on investing in people with learning disabilities through the discovery, development and disruption of the arts.   We consistently work to overcome the barriers that prevent people with learning disabilities from fully accessing and engaging in the arts, as both artists and audience. Importantly, we ensure that we reach people with the highest support needs and those most at risk of social exclusion due to the nature of their disabilities and work with them to explore, create and experience art and culture in a meaningful way.   

Alice Clayden (

University of Derby, Arts & Health Centre of Excellence

Website under construction.

Summary of relevant activities: research; innovative teaching; practice enquiry; creative ageing consortium; arts and health and wellbeing; compassion and wellbeing

Nicola Barnett, Deputy Administrative Officer (

T: 01332 591229

Kedleston Road, Derby, DE22 1GB

University of Winchester, The Centre for Arts as Wellbeing

The Centre for The Arts as Wellbeing, University of Winchester encompasses music, performance, dance, movement, literary, visual and other art forms. The centre hosts an evaluation, research, teaching and consultancy programme that explores the impact of arts and culture on health and wellbeing. It has established an evaluation led approach to arts interventions – especially in dementia care – in hospitals, the community and care homes.

Holly Pye, Administrator:

T: 01962 827212

Sparkford Road, Winchester, Hampshire, SO22 4NR

Wellspring Music

We trained with OPUS Music CIC and both completed year-long apprenticeships alongside OPUS musicians, Marc at Nottingham’s Queen’s Medical Centre, and James at Kingsmill Hospital in Mansfield.

Our highly sensitive and responsive musical approach, through which participants are encouraged to improvise and lead, provides cultural enrichment and helps to humanise medical and care settings. The non-verbal communication facilitated by shared music-making creates a culture of enhanced social connection, community and well-being amongst service users, staff and relatives.

James Tolhurst

M: 07929497763

Flat 1, 39 Langtry Grove, Basford, Nottingham, NG7 7AX

Dr Yoon Irons

I have been undertaking research into the potential health and wellbeing benefits of music, in particular singing. Currently, I am working on research projects, like Singing for Mental Health, Singing for Long COVID, and Music as analgesia.