Health education for musicians in the UK: a qualitative evaluation

Raluca Matei, Jane Ginsborg

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Musical training in higher education music institutions (e.g. conservatoires) has been associated with health-related issues among musicians. The Health Promotion in Schools of Music project in the USA and the Healthy Conservatoires project in the UK have therefore recommended health promotion at conservatoires. Few health education courses have been evaluated to date, however. A 5-month health education programme for first-year undergraduate students at a British conservatoire was introduced as part of the core curriculum in September 2016. The programme, which involved both lectures and seminars, was evaluated using quantitative and qualitative approaches. This article reports only the qualitative evaluation. Twenty semi-structured individual interviews were conducted either face-to-face or via Skype in April 2017. The data were transcribed verbatim and analysed thematically. Five themes were identified: (i) the programme as a catalyst for engagement with health; (ii) behavioural changes; (iii) barriers to engaging with the programme material and initiating changes; (iv) suggestions for improvement; and (v) misinformation. Generally, participants viewed the programme as relevant and informative, particularly appreciating the intimate nature of the seminars. They reported that the programme helped them take a broader perspective on musicianship and that they would welcome sessions that are more practical than theoretical. They also reported instances of change in their behaviours relating to both lifestyle and management of music practice. In conclusion, undergraduate music students viewed this health education programme positively. Their feedback illustrates the complex nature of health promotion in the conservatoire setting.
Original languageEnglish
Article numberdaab146
JournalHealth Promotion International
Issue number2
Early online date25 Sept 2021
Publication statusPublished - 30 Apr 2022


  • behaviour change
  • health promotion
  • music students
  • programme evaluation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health(social science)
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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