Latest resources

In this section you will find all the research, guidelines, data and resources that we have included in the LAHF newsletter. You can filter these by type of resource, or by theme using the tags on the right hand side of this page.

For more comprehensive collections of research and resources visit Links.

Local authority arts and health case studies

The Chief Cultural and Leisure Officers Association has posted its guide to best practice in local authority engagement in arts and health. The organisation has produced a brochure showcasing a range of local authority arts in health case studies from across the country highlighting the benefits to public health of commissioning arts and leisure activity.

Neurological impacts of music

A new paper has been published reviewing the psychoneuroimmunology of music. The paper examines sixty-three studies published over the past 22 years, exploring a range of effects of music on neurotransmitters, hormones, cytokines, lymphocytes, vital signs and immunoglobulins as well as psychological assessments.

Policies for Wellbeing

A new book, Interventions and Policies to Enhance Well-being by Professor Felicia Huppert and Professor Cary Cooper has just been published in the UK by Wiley Blackwell, and is about to be published in the US and elsewhere. It is the final volume of a 6-volume set entitled Wellbeing: A Complete Reference Guide.

Creativity in Care

Nottingham’s City Arts has published an evaluation of its Creativity in Care programme. It highlights key learning from the project, which included an artist’s residency, mentoring for activity co-ordinators and several training events. 

Therapeutic music video interventions

Research published in the American Journal of Cancer has found that young people who had engaged in therapeutic music activities whilst undergoing cancer treatment fare better in terms of coping and social interaction.

Clay Transformations

The University of Nottingham is investigating the therapeutic effects of working with clay. It has launched a new website and is inviting contributions from those who use clay therapeutically in their work or are interested more generally in the therapeutic use of clay.

Link between choirs and wellbeing

Researchers at Oxford Brookes University have found a link between choral participation and positive psychological wellbeing. An online study asked 375 people who sang in choirs, sang alone or were members of sports teams about their experience of these activities.

Start2 Live Life More Creatively

Start in Manchester has launched an online tool to demonstrate the ways creativity and the arts can support mental wellbeing. The Start2 resource demonstrates new ways to approach wellbeing, through learning to harness people’s natural creativity.

Music lessons and brain development

Researchers in Beijing have discovered a connection between music tuition and brain development. The research involved brain scans and noted that the brains of children who were taking music lessons developed cognitive function more rapidly than a control group.

Transitions 3

Mental Fight Club, in partnership with Pavement Pounders, has announced the publication of Transitions 3 - a collection of writings on the journey into mental illness and recovery from it.

Re-Imagining Futures

The Arts Alliance has unveiled its latest research into the role of the arts in supporting long sentence prisoners, women and those not engaged with mainstream learning.

Musical singing and dementia

A new study has found that patients with dementia who spend time singing songs from the musicals experience a boost in their cognitive function. People with moderate to severe dementia experience the most striking results and the researchers found that the cognitive function of the singers improved more than the patients who simply listened.

NCVO guides to commissioning

As part of its work to support arts organisations seeking public sector commissioning opportunities, NCVO has made two guides available. The Commissioning and Procurement guide is a tool for organisations new to commissioning.

Study into benefits of the arts

A joint study by the University of Sydney’s Faculty of Education and Social Work and the Australia Council for the Arts has found that engagement in the arts benefits students not just in the classroom, but also in life. Students who are involved in the arts have higher school motivation, engagement in class, self-esteem, and life satisfaction, researchers discovered.

Music and the brain

A new study by researchers at the University of St. Andrews in Scotland has concluded that people who practice playing musical instruments have sharper brains because they pick up mistakes in their performance and fix them more quickly than other people.