Music as Social Innovation is a project providing access to music activities for adults from disadvantaged groups in Scotland, and evaluating their impact.

Making music involves physical and mental processes that are uniquely creative and expressive, and therefore has strong potential for social interaction and self-definition. All of these features suggest that participant-led music activities can address disadvantages including barriers to cultural participation and employment, poorer wellbeing and limited social networks.

This partnership between University of Edinburgh and Limelight Music explores how musical opportunities can be meaningful and engaging for participants disadvantaged by physical or cognitive impairments, and seeks to capture any social benefits that musical participation might have for them.

The community music workshops provided by Limelight are innovative in providing education in basic music skills for individuals often denied access to music-making, and in prioritising those individuals’ own musical preferences. The objectives for this project are ground-breaking: both to educate and to benefit the lives of disadvantaged participants through group music-making that facilitates social cohesion and expressive communication, and through developing skills that enhance life opportunities.

Beneficiaries are involved and fully invested in all stages of the research. The perspectives of the disadvantaged groups intended to benefit are represented integrally through the close partnership with our partner organisations, the contribution of lay researchers, and the project advisory group.

Music as Social Innovation is funded by the Scottish Government and the European Social Fund.

Would you like to undertake research-led study at ECA?

We also offer a range of research-led postgraduate programmes. Find out more.

Are you interested in studying Music - PhD/MSc by Research at Edinburgh College of Art?

Related people