Research Projects

Nordoff Robbins Research Projects

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The varied specialisms of the research team are reflected by the range of research areas and methodological designs conducted by the team. Current and past projects are clustered into the three themes; 'Musical Interaction & Improvisation', 'Music Therapy Tools', 'Views, Overviews & Understanding'.

You can also find out about our Research Governance below. 

Current Key Projects

Public policy work:

Conducted a review of the research literature on music therapy and dementia; situating this research into the wider scholarly debates on music and dementia; detailing the current Nordoff Robbins involvement with people with dementia.

Music Therapy and Education:

This new research project will investigate three themes in the practice of music therapy in education settings: How is music therapy understood by each participant? How are decisions made about who gets music therapy? What challenges occur in music therapy and how are they dealt with?

Musical Preference, Music Therapy and Mental Health:

Metal Music as a Case Study: New project investigating the impact of music preference on the health effects and outcomes of these activities, and how has heavy metal music been involved in music therapy?

Service Evaluation Research Paper:

The aim of this project is to explore how the Nordoff Robbins England and Wales service evaluation systems can be implemented in the NRS context of work. Collaborating with Giorgos Tsiris from NRS.

Do the Shuffle:

Using the shuffle function to explore reasons for music listening - The aim of this project is to investigate which aspects of the music listening experience are prioritized by people listening to music on their personal devices. 

Collaborative Insights:

Interdisciplinary perspectives on musical care throughout the lifespan – The general purpose of this book is to provide insight into how music plays a caring role during stages of the lifespan.

Shared understanding in music therapy improvisation:

The project has two primary aims. One is to explore which moments those participating in and observing music therapy sessions, are identified as important. Another primary aim is to assess the extent to which the timing and reasons for choosing these important moments are shared by participants. The secondary aim is to explore the characteristics of the shared moments.

Moving on with music: Therapeutic song-writing with young adults facing a terminal illness:

A two-year therapeutic songwriting programme began in 2016, funded by the Young Start awards and led by Nordoff Robbins Scotland. This innovative programme takes the form of short-term individual or group music therapy projects. This paper will present the programme, the potential role of songwriting and its application with young adults facing a life-limiting illness, and in addition some preliminary findings of accompanying idiographic research aiming to uncover the ways in which it is valued.

past projects and others of interest