THAT programmes explore wellbeing through music

Participants on two long-term conditions arts groups have explored their musical talents.

MAIN THAT programmes explore wellbeing through music - RSNO (1)
Members of the Headway group with the RSNO – photo courtesy of Kris Miller/DCT Media

Participants from Headway Dundee and Angus group were inspired by spring in the finale of a programme with the Royal Scottish National Orchestra (RSNO).

The event at the Wighton Heritage Centre was organised by ST/ART – a creative engagement project for people across Tayside who have had a stroke or acquired brain injury. It’s supported by NHS Tayside and the RSNO’s learning and engagement programme in Dundee, which is supported by Northwood Charitable Trust.

Participants were encouraged to work with a variety of instruments including rhythmic and musical percussion, piano and their voice. They explored composition through written notation and verse and found their own sources of inspiration to work from. This approach led to a rich combination of visual, written and composed work which became the basis of three movements of music that they shared today.

Head of learning and engagement at RSNO Samantha Campbell said, “The musicians have taken the group through a number of planned musical exercises and techniques that gradually evolved from quiet musical meditation to bold vocal compositions.

“It has been particularly satisfying to see the participants’ confidence increase and realise the pleasure there is in making music. What is exciting for us is exploring how to build work with a large group of participants which creates social and interactive activity.”

For further information please contact Chris Kelly on 01382 835507 or email

MAIN THAT programmes explore wellbeing through music - Vocal Chord (2)
The Vocal Chord choir

Tayside Healthcare Arts Trust’s (THAT) Vocal Chord long-term conditions choir performed at the final session of their spring programme at the Norrie Miller Studio in Perth Concert Hall. The programme is delivered in association with Horsecross Arts Perth and supported by The Gannochy Trust, The Forteviot Trust and NHS Tayside.

Singing coach Emma Neck worked with participants during the eight-session programme to explore singing in a fun and enjoyable way. THAT volunteer Annette McBride provided support to the programme.

Emma said, “I really enjoyed working with the Vocal Chord group and exploring gentle harmonies and different styles of music together. Everyone worked very hard and sound amazing! It’s been a joy working with everyone and I look forward to doing more work with the group in autumn.”

Vocal Chord will resume on Monday, 26 August in the Norrie Miller Studio. If you would like more information or would like to register please contact Karine Neill on 01382 835509.

THAT promotes the therapeutic value of arts-based programmes to enhance quality of life, promote social inclusion and empower an individual to make an important contribution to their health and wellbeing.

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