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Live Music NowLive Music in Care

Live Music Now (LMN) is a national organisation supporting the development of young, professional musicians to deliver live music experiences in the community for those who rarely have the opportunity to engage with live music.

Live Music in Care is a research study that Live Music Now led with the University of Winchester from 2015 to 2017 to investigate the impact of music on care home residents, staff and the whole care home environment.

The project set out to answer the following question: “Can 11 weekly music sessions, provided for staff and residents in care homes, support the care home environment to be a place where residents and staff are happy to live and work?”

Live Music Now

Live Music Now © Evan Dawson

Live Music Now

Live Music Now © Ivan Gonzalez

Target Beneficiaries

The target beneficiaries for the project were care home residents, staff and the whole care home environment.

The residents were identified by participating care homes in some cases through self-selection by residents, whilst others selected residents they thought would benefit.

The primary outcome identified in a co-creative evaluation design process, involving the care homes taking part, was:

  • Increased happiness in residents and staff

With three intermediate outcomes:

  1. Increased confidence in music making in staff
  2. Changes in the care home environment
  3. Increased day to day music interactions


The partners for delivery were MHA (Methodist Homes) and the Orders of St John Care Trust. Across the two partners, five care home settings were identified to participate in the project.

The project was delivered across 11 weekly music sessions with prior meetings between LMN and the care homes as well as a Stakeholder Evaluation Co-Creation Meeting to identify the outcomes of the project.

The first of the 11 sessions was for staff and musicians only (a development and training session), followed by 10 sessions of direct delivery with residents. All the delivery sessions included time for pre-session planning between staff and musicians. Staff were encouraged to lead elements of the sessions and to make music with residents between sessions.

The musicians were selected from the existing LMN training scheme cohort. They received a day’s training in advance of the sessions.


The evaluation had the following key findings:

  • Participating and delivering a music intervention to residents in care homes can provide positive social experiences as well as creative engagement, fun and a sense of achievement.
  • Musicians can play an important role in nurturing the wellbeing of elderly people in care.
  • Regular music making can enhance the working and living environment for care home residents and staff.
  • Music interventions can play a crucial role in awakening a sense of identity and empowerment for care home residents, facilitated by musicians and care teams working together.
  • Strategic planning at the outset establishes an essential structure and definition of tasks that provides a framework for the music programme.

The study found compelling evidence that music could be embedded within care homes, led by care staff, leading to tremendously positive results for older residents, care teams and the settings themselves with a recommendation that “regular participatory music programmes be considered essential for all UK care homes.”

The care teams in three participating homes immediately continued to hold regular music activities in their interactions with the residents. Staff have shared their positive experiences at public events to disseminate findings more widely.

LMN are still working with all five homes to support the legacy of the project.

The report added to the growing body of evidence on the benefits of music in adult social care by adding new findings on the benefits for care teams and settings themselves, as well as the residents.


LMN have a Live Music In Care residency model which they are starting to roll out within care settings around the country, incorporating the learning and practice and with a new Live Music in Care Setting Open Award Badge of Excellence that care teams can gain in recognition of their achievement.

Evaluation report


Throughout this piece there was a really lovely sense of togetherness, attention and engagement… I’ve rarely seen such a powerful shared music experience in a residential care setting.


It lifts the mood all round the home.


Before the residency Caroline was more quiet. Now she’s more open, communicative and confident and getting more involved. She is really flourishing.


The Baring Foundation, Royal British Legion and the LIBOR Fund.