Will There Be Music for Us?' Mapping the Health and Well-being Potential of Participatory Music Practice With Asylum Seekers and Refugees Across Contexts of Conflict and Refuge


Arts & Health: An International Journal of Research, Policy and Practice




Background: This paper draws on existing literature across the fields of community music and health promotion to map the potential for participatory music practices to support health and well-being outcomes for asylum seekers and refugees across contexts of conflict, liminality and refuge. As such, the paper provides a foundation for future empirical work in the field of music and health for asylum seekers and refugees. Methods: The paper reports on the outcomes of a 'scoping' literature review of the benefits of participatory music-making across three different contexts: 'conflict' settings, refugee camps and resettlement settings. Results: The scoping review provided a new synthesis of existing knowledge and empirical work on the health and well-being outcomes of participatory music for asylum seekers and refugees across contexts. In particular, the review highlighted the different roles that music can have in people's lives as they move away from home countries towards resettlement settings. Conclusions: When coupled with broader evidence from the fields of health and well-being research, growing empirical research on music and well-being for asylum seekers provides a strong foundation for both further research and investment in music (and the arts more generally) as a key positive social and cultural determinant of health for this group. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2016 APA, all rights reserved)

Music and Health Institute Terms

Mental Health; Music and Healing; Racial Disparities

Indexed Terms

asylum seekers; refugees; health; well-being; social and cultural determinants of health; Health Behavior; Health Promotion; Well Being; Conflict; Health Care Policy

Study Type

Editorial, Opinions, Position Papers

Document Type