Music in Mind (MiM)

Rhythmix logo

We believe the most vulnerable should not rely on the whims and eccentricities of funding and grant giving systems. Our work is transformational, but the complex needs of participants can result in it being viewed as comparatively expensive. This risks making it potentially unattractive to grant funding models which in part judge outcomes for quantitative not qualitative impact. Such funding mechanisms negatively impact upon long term sustainability and outcomes of some of our most challenging work.

Timelimited and oneoff grant funding has prevented our organisation from sustaining programmes with vulnerable people, even when there is additional work to do that would continue to make a genuine impact. Sussex Partnerships NHS Trust consulted Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAMHS) across East and West Sussex and Brighton & Hove about therapeutic engagement
activities. Nearly all of these clinical teams wanted music. However, they have to seek external funding to deliver those activities. Clinical teams know music is a tool to transform the lives of young people with Mental Health problems but can’t get specialist organisations in to deliver this work. Rhythmix has worked hard developing a workforce who are experts in their field, creating a body of evidence that is public facing and persuasive.

Rhythmix’s Music in Mind meet, support and enables clinical outcomes. Our Music Leaders
working Mental Health settings are told continually that they are supporting participants in ways that clinicians can’t. Sustainable funding, resources and research is needed to take this work further.

Description of the arts activity

Rhythmix is a music, social welfare and education charity based in South East England. We provide a year round programme that covers a breadth of music making activity. We work with vulnerable people including children and young people (in care, with disabilities, with mental health problems, in hospital and hospices), people who are homeless and older people with dementia.
Rhythmix delivers Music in Mind (MiM), an innovative programme for young people with mental health problems. The programme uses music making to enhance life chances and offers tangible help to young people with mental health problems. Those with mental health problems often experience significant issues in life, either causing or as a result of mental health issues. We offer participants an opportunity to gain vocational skills and have a positive creative outlet through music making. Rhythmix offers opportunities to gain the self belief and skills necessary to move forward in life.

“Rhythmix provides a unique service to CAMHS by linking us with musicians who are extremely skilled in both communicating their skills, and passion for music whilst containing high levels of anxiety and being able to let young people reach their potential even under difficult circumstances.” Rivkah Cummerson (East Sussex CAMHS)

Evaluation methods and findings

Comic Relief funded Dr Alison Dabuney to do a three year external evaluation of MiM. The complete evaluation is available online. Selected and edited information is below.

The case studies provide compelling evidence of young people thriving through their time with the MiM programme and beyond. From supporting engagement in formal education, to gaining friends, attending centres more regularly and accepting help, becoming more selfconfident and using the narrative of song writing to express emotions and feelings and many more outcomes, MiM has facilitated these. The relationships young people have formed with each other, with music tutors and support staff are the central pillars of this development.

‘Music in Mind has demonstrated the potential for young people with a wide range of mental health needs to benefit in multiple ways through engagement with interventions specifically targeted to bring together community arts practices and mental health provision.’ Music in Mind sought interrelated outcome indicators from this work, allied with multiple aspects of health, wellbeing and musical engagement/development. The best practitioners and tutors recognised the need to plan for and recognise a wide range of approaches and outcomes, which led to some kind of ‘success’ in a given situation and at a particular time for a specific person or group.’

Dr Alison Dabuney Conclusion Introduction Improvements noted in the report included

a) Reduced anxiety, stress and physical issues related to emotional wellbeing (e.g selfharm)
b) Increased self expression
c) Externalising matters that they had previously ‘bottled up’d) Communication around difficult topics (e.g. bullying, bereavement, selfharm, negative thoughts and selfimage)
e) Belonging and development of coping strategies
f) Creative and personal risk taking
g) Importance of feeling secure
e) Having fun
f) Social Development

"It pushed me out of my comfort zone and helped me felt part of the group and that's important to me”. Participant
Dr Daubney addressed a number of areas for development in her conclusions, as well as recommendations for future work. Dr Daubney’s Case Studies highlight

● The Case for Music here How Music supports:
○ Clinical Outcomes
○ Emotional Wellbeing
● When Music meets Healthcare Getting
it Right
○ The need for a specialist workforce here
○ The importance of partnership working here
Additional Case Studies describing young people's outcomes are available
● Musical journeys here
● Educational journeys here
● Personal, emotional and social journeys here

Supported using public funding by the Arts Council England