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Policy Research Overview - Children & Young People's Mental Health & Wellbeing

Emily Foulkes - May 2023


There is a growing body of literature which supports the notion that singing can provide a host of psychological, social and physical benefits. One of the first published peer reviewed papers was UK study in 2001. This explored the impacts of singing with adults in a choir. Findings highlighted that group singing promoted positive well-being and improved posture and breathing, amongst other noted benefits. Younger participants in this study reported that the social benefits were the most pertinent.


Since this study, research continues to echo the potential for singing to promote psychological, physical and social benefits.

Within the context of policy
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Beyond the mainstream
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The Arts and Health Movement
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Children and Young People’s Mental Health (in the context of Covid-19)
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Overview of research on singing for mental health and well-being of children and young people
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Summary / considerations / research limitations
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Interested in research? Check out our Research Summaries for fascinating easy-to-digest updates on recent research into singing and mental health.

In this section

Singing & Health
Types of Singing Activity for Mental Health
Music Therapy & Music Participation
Creative vocals and 'agency' in singing - a rapid research review
Policy Research Overview - Children & Young People's Mental Health & Wellbeing

About the author

Emily Foulkes is the Director of Music for Good, a music for well-being charity in Cornwall. She has worked in music and well-being for more than 20 years, having previously worked for the National Foundation for Youth Music in the Policy and Programmes department, and worked with the team at Youth Music to secure funding which led to her lead on the setting up and managing of national programmes and networks.


Emily is a Singing for Health practitioner, researcher, trainer and consultant. She has developed a Singing for Health programme in Cornwall, securing funds for a Singing Clinic programme with Social Prescribing and NHS funding to work in acute care. She received a bursary for her MA with Voice Workshop and completed research in Singing for Health.


Emily is Founder and Director of the Singing for Health Network, which aims to bridge research and practice, and support the Singing for Health Movement. 

Read Emily's article about her experiences of developing Singing for Health work linked to Social Prescribing in Cornwall here, and a summary of her research exploring online singing and mindfulness during Covid for people with anxiety and/or depression here.

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You might also be interested in...

Singing and social inclusion

RESEARCH SUMMARY: children’s self-concept and sense of being socially included through singing.

Group singing and young people's psychological well-being

RESEARCH SUMMARY: the impact of a community group singing project on psychological well-being

Effects of group singing vs listening on hospitalized children

RESEARCH SUMMARY: the feasibility and effectiveness of a five day intervention.


"Co-creators in the same room"

Aga Serugo-Lugo

Rap Club - finding a connection

Benjamin Turner

Singing and music-making in secure settings

Chris Morris

"The thing that we can't quite verbalise"

David Lawrence


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