Kirklees is a district of world class music that stands proud on its rich and diverse musical heritage. Music is the beat of our heart, it is the sound of our communities, and it is the pulse of our towns and villages.
As part of the Yorkshire region’s plans for a Year of Culture in 2023, Kirklees has designated it as a Year of Music for the district. 2023 will celebrate the richness and diversity of our music heritage, the music created and performed today, and our ambition for the future, inclusive of all genres, all communities and in all forms.
In 2023, everyone will be able to encounter music in welcoming and friendly spaces and places; everyone will invited to be part of our music community, and everyone will be encouraged to experiment, learn, listen and enjoy.
hoot is proud to the Health and Wellbeing lead for Kirklees Year of Music 2023.
We know from our own experience that music can bring joy, comfort, fun, energy, movement and memories. Music can build social connections and reduce feelings of isolation and loneliness, enable self-expression and spiritual connection. It can also provide a safe space to experience strong human emotions within a cultural form that supports such public expression across a diverse and rich range of cultures and musical genres.
Scientific research is adding to our knowledge of how music impacts in these ways and how it can be used as a tool to:
• reduce anxiety and contribute to maintaining good mental health and
• benefit the immune system
• increase positive post-surgery outcomes
• support physical exercise
• improve the quality of life for those living with dementia
• help with pain management
Across Kirklees, we are determined to work collaboratively to use this knowledge to benefit as many people as possible by developing solutions that build connections between Year of Music 2023 and our health, social care and community infrastructures including: GPs (general practice), Social Prescribers, charitable/voluntary sector, hospitals, residential care homes, libraries, support groups and the education sector.
We’re currently examining the evidence base for music and health, hearing about current good practice in arts, health and wellbeing, understanding health inequalities and priorities in Kirklees, mapping current music provision, developing relationships and partnerships with communities and stakeholders to enable us to deliver the following elements as part of the Year of Music:
Community music projects
Using music as tool to improve wellbeing, support mental health recovery, reduce social isolation and redress health inequalities. We’ll be co-producing music activities to support the health and wellbeing of underrepresented groups, delivering music activities to address specific health issues, improving the reach of successful hoot activities such as Out of the Blue and Breathing Space and commissioning and presenting artistic responses to health and wellbeing issues.
Influencing heart and minds to secure a legacy of support for music, health and wellbeing by building a network of support amongst local government, healthcare, culture and community leaders, increasing referrals to music activities through social prescribing and advocating for the benefits of music through events and fora.
Building, supporting and retaining a skilled workforce in Kirklees by delivering training and CPD for musicians, health and social care staff, supporting the mental health and wellbeing of musicians working in Kirklees and supporting the mental health and wellbeing of workers in Kirklees more broadly through music.
Building knowledge and understanding of the impact of participatory music on health and wellbeing through collaborative research projects and by evaluating our activities and sharing learning across the arts and health sectors.
To find out more about Health & Wellbeing and the Year of Music 2023, contact:
Year of Music 2023: (Mental) Health & Wellbeing Coordinator & Producer
Tel: 01484 516224