Some 15 years ago, the Health Education & Music Faculties of Canterbury Christ Church University began investigating the possible benefits of regular singing for older people living with long term conditions including Alzheimer’s, Parkinson's, Dementia, Post Stroke, COPD.  This was driven by the increasing population of older people affected by social isolation and loneliness, and the consequential pressure on Health & Social Care services.


Following an initial pilot programme, Sing For Your Life was incubated from the project in 2005, to initiate singing groups in the community. These met regularly.
In Day Care Centres, drawing on the success of this network, the Sidney De Haan Research Centre for Arts & Health obtained funding from the NHS Research for Patient Benefit Fund to undertake a Randomised Controlled Trial.  Data from this trial was analysed by the Centre for Health Service Studies, University of Kent.  It demonstrated that using standard evaluation tools, including SF12 & HADS, the participants' health improved both during the trial and that the improvement continued for at least 3 months, which mitigates after the trial ended.  Evaluation also concluded that singing was a cost effective intervention.

NICE Guidance

In December 2015 NICE published guidance NG32 Older People: Independence & Mental Well Being, which recommends a number of non-medical interventions, including singing, which is the only activity supported by a RCT.  In December 2016 NICE published a Quality Statement QS137 which requires all Health & Social Care providers to signpost older people affected by loneliness and social isolation to activities including singing, walking, gardening, etc. and to commission these activities.
Other research conducted by The Department of Experimental Psychology, Oxford University, concluded that singing, drumming and dancing stimulated the release of endorphins which mitigate the effects of dementia and other long term conditions.