Music as Social Innovation is a research project between the University of Edinburgh and Limelight Music Ltd. It follows the successful stage 1 project Community music workshops for social integration among individuals with impairments. Limelight Music Ltd is a charitable organisation that supports people with impairments to learn and make the music they want to.

Stage 1 – Community music workshops for social integration among individuals with impairments

The first stage project delivered a series of 17 music workshops for adults with learning difficulties in Renfrewshire, with Limelight Music Ltd, and looked at their impact on social disadvantage. The groups greatly enjoyed singing or drumming along to African chants, folk music and pop tunes, and played on different musical instruments. To find out what the challenges are for people with impairments in Renfrewshire and how the music activities might help, we observed the workshops, and interviewed the participants, family members and staff.

Stage 2 – Music as Social Innovation

From Spring 2018 Limelight Music Ltd will run a series of music workshops with young adults with impairments in Renfrewshire, Glasgow and the West of Scotland. Our research team in the School of Music at the University of Edinburgh is looking at the Limelight workshops for the Scottish Government, to find out how the workshops might help with social disadvantage in different locations. We will look at musical activities that are engaging and can benefit the participants.

Music making is a creative, social and enjoyable activity. It can support cultural participation and benefit wellbeing and social networks. The workshops are innovative, as participants are encouraged to make the music they want and express their own enthusiasms and messages.

Service users and people with disabilities are involved in all stages of this project. Our partner organisations ensure that the project addresses the needs of the participants and the communities involved. A project steering group of service users and carers will meet 3 times during this project to comment on its progress and help with the interpretation of the results. The project team, furthermore, includes a lay researcher, a young adult service user, who will contribute to the steering group and the overall research process.

If you have any questions about the project, feel free to contact us.

This project is funded by the Scottish Government Social Innovation Fund.

The Social Innovation Fund is part of the Social Economy Growth Fund, supported by the European Social Fund (ESF). It enables social economy organisations to work in collaboration with research institutions, the public and private sector to develop, test and scale up new ideas and solutions to tackle poverty and disadvantage. The Social Innovation Fund supports a pipeline of projects following a three-stage approach to social innovation. See here for further information on the Social Innovation Fund, and here for further approved projects.