A prescription to the nation...

The health and well being benefits of playing in a brass band have pricked the interest of the national media this week...

  The golden glow of good health and well being...

The health and well being benefits of playing in a brass band have been highlighted in the national media following the recent publication of a study undertaken by Sheffield University's Department of Music.

Findings from the initial report led by Dr Michael Bonshor and Dr Vicky Williamson from the University of Sheffield's Music and Wellbeing Unit were previously published in an open-access journal entitled 'Frontiers in Psychology: Performance Science', and were highlighted by 4BR in June this year.

Noticeable improvements

Responses from nearly 350 adult brass band members were looked at, with the overwhelming majority stating that their brass banding had improved their breath control and lung capacity, with some even experiencing noticeable improvements in respiratory conditions.

Others reported psychological benefits including stress reduction, increased resilience, general improvements in mental health, and distraction from some of the worries and frustrations of everyday life.

After the findings were published on the University of Sheffield website a short article appeared in the 'Daily Mirror' newspaper on Tuesday (10th December) as well as a feature on the Radio 5 Live Emma Barnett Show.

Prescription to the nation

The Daily Mirror article entitled, 'Clear out your Tubas' contained a quote from Grimethorpe MD David Thornton who said that music was "good for us in all sorts of ways. There's lots of reasons to join a brass band."

On the same day James Holt, MD of Besses Boys Band, was interviewed by Emma Barnett, who eloquently described the benefits of brass bands as a "prescription to the nation", whilst James said that it was something that "grabs you and never lets go."

James Holt, MD of Besses Boys Band, was interviewed by Emma Barnett, who eloquently described the benefits of brass bands as a, "prescription to the nation"4BR

Extended family

He later added that one of the great benefits was that it acted like "an extended family"that ensured that a person was "never lonely or bored".

Supportive messages from listeners were also read out, with one perhaps summing things up perfectly at a time when austerity cuts were causing lasting problems, when he said, "...save music save community spirit."

Copyright Picture: Lorne Campbell / Guzelian

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