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NCCIH Research Blog

NIH Partnerships To Explore Music and Health Interventions

November 3, 2020

Emmeline Edwards, Ph.D.

Emmeline Edwards, Ph.D.


Division of Extramural Research

National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health

View biographical sketch

During the COVID-19 pandemic, we have seen an outpouring of artistic activities, as people seek to understand, cope with, and creatively express their experiences with the pandemic. Worldwide, we have seen how music has been a channel to connect, encourage, and share beauty during these challenging months of social distancing and isolation.

In an earlier blog, I discussed National Institutes of Health’s (NIH) interest in encouraging research on music and health and provided links to funding opportunity announcements and notices available to the research community. In this blog, I’d like to highlight some recent and upcoming activities and lectures related to the burgeoning interest in research on the health impact of music and art.

  • On September 14, I was a panelist at a roundtable meeting to identify priority research questions and outcomes for the EpiArts Lab. The Lab is being created to explore the impacts of arts and cultural participation on population-level health outcomes through epidemiological analyses of U.S. large-cohort data sets. EpiArts is a National Endowment for the Arts Research Lab at the University of Florida Center for Arts in Medicine, in partnership with University College London (UCL) and with support from Bloomberg Philanthropies and the Pabst Steinmetz Foundation. 
  • On September 15, I participated in a panel discussion for “Music and Mind LIVE with Renée Fleming” featuring the NeuroArts Blueprint: Advancing the Science of Arts, Health and Well-Being. I serve as the scientific advisor for NeuroArts, a partnership between the Health, Medicine and Society Program of the Aspen Institute and the International Arts + Mind Lab at Johns Hopkins University. Ms. Fleming, a renowned soprano, is co-chair of the board of NeuroArts as well as a champion of Sound Health.  View panel discussion on YouTube or Facebook.
  • On October 2, Renée Fleming; Jerome Fleg, M.D., program officer in the Division of Cardiovascular Sciences, National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute; and I joined two Sound Health-funded investigators on a panel discussion of the impact of music on cardiac health at the Annual Scientific Meeting of the Heart Failure Society of America. Sherri Robb, Ph.D., Indiana University School of Nursing, and Jacquelyn Kulinski, M.D., Medical College of Wisconsin, were the two investigators who joined us to discuss their research.
  • Next month (November 19), I will deliver the keynote address opening the American Music Therapy Association’s annual conference. (This lecture is not open to the public, but rather is an event for conference registrants.)

I provide this information to highlight the burgeoning partnerships related to the impact of music on health and illustrate some current key areas of interest at NCCIH, including integrative health, whole person health, and the interconnectedness of mind and body. I welcome your comments and questions below.


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