Nigel Marshall

Senior lecturer University of Sussex

Lecture Seeking Asylum: The role of musical experiences in the promotion of health and well-being

The paper will explore the extent to which musical experiences, created by amateur and professional musicians can contribute to the overall levels of wellbeing in those living with dementia; those living in full time care and those receiving palliative care in a hospice.

Globally, the arts and especially music, are becoming an increasingly important feature of health care and their value in promoting increased levels of wellbeing is continually being experienced, but not yet well understood. In addition, the continual increase in the cost of medication, along with numerous questions around how effective expensive medical treatments can actually be in dealing with pain relief and conditions such as anxiety and depression, has created an increased level of interest in a range of non-pharmacological interventions – with music featuring on a regular basis as a necessary and ‘effective treatment’. This paper adopts an expanded definition of the word 'asylum' in order to assess the extent to which musical experiences can contribute to the well being of all those involved in health and care contexts.

Dr Nigel Marshall is Senior Lecturer / Reader in Music Psychology in the School of Education and Social Work at the University of Sussex, UK. He currently manages to combine his interest in music, and his work as a psychologist, by working with the charity 'Music in Hospitals and Care'. His current research interests are in music and dementia and wellbeing, attachment theory and music and gender. He is currently Visiting Professor at the University of Tallinn, Estonia and Visiting Research Fellow at the University of Daugavpils in Latvia.