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Nordoff Robbins public policy

We are committed to championing the key issues around music therapy, the social value of music and the positive impact music has on health and wellbeing.

At Nordoff Robbins, we believe in the power of music and music therapy, and its ability to reach even the most vulnerable and isolated people in our society. We are committed to championing the key issues around the social value of music, and the positive impact music therapy has on health and wellbeing, through our public policy work.

We raise awareness of the impact of music therapy through advocacy and research, and provide clear and rigorous evidence of this to commissioners and policy-makers, to support the case for music therapy as part of a holistic approach to healthcare, and the need for sustainability and funding for music therapy services.

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We advocate for the importance of music education in schools, promoting equality in access, and the value and benefits of music making for students – as a fundamental tool that can support health and wellbeing and provide key life skills, including learning to work with others, speech and language development, and social interaction.

We champion the social value of music and provide a united space for collaboration, ideas, partnership working and thought leadership, to frame and build debate, as well as contributing to broader debates on the arts in health and wellbeing.

Nordoff Robbins Policy Positions

Our policy on the social value of music

Our policy on music education

Our policy on music and dementia

Our policy on music and mental health

Our policy on social prescribing

Our policy on supporting people UK-wide

Our policy on professional regulation


Policy News

Public Policy and Research Events

  • The Social Value of Music Conference

    This innovative two-day cross-platform policy and research conference, hosted by music therapy charity Nordoff Robbins, brings together policymakers, researchers, music practitioners and music industry experts to share best practice and research on the social value of music.


    Structured in two parts, the seminar started with a keynote presentation by Simon Procter. Drawing from his recently completed doctoral ethnographic research of music therapy in a community mental health setting, Simon engaged with questions regarding the politics of valuing music and health; with responses by Tia DeNora and Gary Ansdell, embedded in their collaborative study of music therapy in a non-medical mental health centre.

  • Nordoff Robbins Plus (2016)

    The Third Nordoff Robbins Plus conference was held at Nordoff Robbins on the Tuesday 17th May 2016.

    Music can be many things to many people: entertainment, a route to social bonding, a focus for testing, a mood modulator, a motivator, a therapy. While celebrating its multiple roles and functions in our lives, this conference revisits the kinds of questions that need to be asked, and methods used when seeking to describe, understand, test and communicate about the roles and effects of music and music therapy in people’s lives.

  • Nordoff Robbins Plus (2017)

    Spirituality is growing in popularity across the social sciences, popular culture, and it seems, music therapy. Indeed, throughout health and social care services, practitioners are now being encouraged to pay more attention to the diversity of spiritual beliefs and practices which patients and service users may have. However, in a recent survey on spirituality and music therapy, Tsiris (2016) found that spirituality is something which enjoys an ambivalent relationship with music therapy. Whilst many therapists acknowledged their own spirituality can play an important role in what they do, and recognised spirituality is something which has relevance to all aspects of human life; at the same time, there was widespread reluctance to admit the spiritual fully into the therapeutic relationship, for fear of it resulting in all sorts of opportunities for misunderstanding and conflict, possibly even undermining professional credibility.