Scotland's New Singing for Health Network

This project will bring together Singing for Health practitioners, researchers, and health professionals from across Scotland for the very first time.

Singing for Health groups support the management of a range of conditions such as respiratory conditions, dementia, Parkinson’s Disease, and mental health concerns.

Led by Dr Brianna Robertson-Kirkland from the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland alongside one of our Clinical Fellows Liesbeth Tip, who is co-investigator on the project, and Research Assistant Sophie Boyd, the Singing for Health Network will be the first Scottish network that unites practitioners, researchers and health professionals working in these health-related fields. 

This network will provide a space for a diverse community of singing practitioners and researchers working on singing and health, to come together to share knowledge, ideas and practice and to open up avenues for communication between individuals and organisations.

Dr Brianna Robertson-Kirkland

The network will host a range of workshops to support Singing for Health groups allowing them to showcase their work. It will also be a space to consider larger issues including how to engage and work alongside medical professionals, to offer Singing for Health as a legitimate form of music therapy, proven by research to help with a wide range of medical conditions. 

We want to educate and inform health practitioners about the current Singing for Health practice and how it can support their patients directly.

Liesbeth Tip

They plan on producing a podcast working collaboratively to produce accessible material that can be shared and distributed around organisations and practitioners joined by a diverse steering group. 

Liesbeth is also co-investigator for MARCH: Mental Health Inclusive Choir project, funded by MARCH Mental Health Network and led by Dr Yoon Irons from the University of Derby.

This project will examine the education, training and support needs of community group singing leaders, who are currently working with, or would like to work with, individuals with mental illness. It will engage with singing leaders, individuals with mental illness, and relevant community organisations through consultations, surveys and an action research programme, in order to empower community singing leaders and promote the best singing group experiences and wellbeing for individuals with mental illness. They plan on producing a toolkit to help share best practice and support choirs to adopt this approach. 

If you want to see what a mental health inclusive choir looks like, visit the Harmony Choir website, a research project founded in 2016 by Liesbeth which was so popular and well-received it continued after the project ended. 

Together with Angela McLaughlin, Dr Simona DiFolco and other colleagues Liesbeth is also working on another choir project aimed at improving perinatal and postnatal mental health, and building inter-generational connections, and connections within and between communities in the widest sense. This project is linked to the Butterfly Baby Clinic Project.

Related links

Liesbeth Tip

Dr Brianna Robertson-Kirkland

Mental Health Inclusive Choir website

March Network website

Royal Conservatoire of Scotland