The Lifemusic project ran from 2008–2011 as part of a UK government funded programme demonstrating the potential benefits to community well-being from knowledge exchange between universities and their local communities. The Lifemusic method, which grew out of 20 years of development and community practice, uses music improvisation as a primary resource for group health and well-being. It presented a training programme and over 400 workshops with a variety of client groups including mental health. This paper introduces and outlines the Lifemusic method, placing it within a tradition of humanistic approaches to community health and goes on to describe its impact in a mental health facility where the approach was introduced and sustained. It looks at the practical aspects of setting up the programme, the challenges of client participation and sustainability and outlines the positive outcomes and benefits to patients and the methodology used in measuring well-being.
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