Music in Care

‘Music in Care’ training is for health and social care professionals, volunteers or family carers who wish to learn more about how to use personalised music in a therapeutic way. Our specially designed ‘Music in Care’ training programme aims to develop confidence to deliver a creative and person centred approach. This training was originally commissioned by the charity musicworks in 2012 to promote the use of personalised music in dementia care. Following an amazing response we have continued to develop courses that ensure that the powerful impact of music on quality of life reach a far wider audience. The courses incorporate nationally recognised values, standards and principles to support learners to gain occupational competence in their role.

‘Music in Care’ Training Available

stracksSoundtrack to My Life – training specifically designed for, and available to, all levels of staff working in dementia care. As part of the training, each learner will have the opportunity to create their own ‘Soundtrack to My Life’compilation before working with other individuals to create theirs. Learners gain confidence in using the ‘Music in Care’ toolkit and reflective practice about their dementia or memory loss care practice. The course takes place over 3 half-day workshops which are spread over 2 – 3 months. Training includes ‘Soundtrack to My Life’ toolkits available from musicworks. The 3 session ‘Soundtrack to My Life’ course costs £189 per person or £1785.00 for a group of up to 10 learners.


Music is Medicine – Part of the ‘Music in Care’ books series by John Osborne for people undergoing medical treatment for cancer and other serious conditions. A brief workshop/presentation is available to all levels of staff working with patients and for patients themselves.


book smallerMy Story in Music – training specifically designed for those support people with life-limiting conditions or at end of life. As part of the training, each learner will have the opportunity to create their own ‘My Story in Music’compilation before working with other individuals to create theirs. Learners gain confidence in using the ‘Music in Care’ toolkit and become more reflective about their end of life care practice. The course takes place over 3 half-day workshops which are spread over 2 – 3 months. Training includes ‘My Story in Music’ toolkits. The 3 session ‘My Story in Music’ course costs £189 per person or £1785.00 for a group of up to 10 learners.

oasis1My Music Oasis – workshop specifically designed to help carers understand how personalised music can be used to make the most of the limited time they have to rest and relax, whilst also helping them to reflect on the good times that they have shared with the person they care for. The workshop is two hours long includes ‘My Music Oasis’ toolkit. 



My Journey in Music – are you a teacher, SENCo, youth worker or parent interested in understanding and benefitting from using music with children and young people as part of learning and development, social time or home life? A brief workshop/presentation is available.



Music at MealtimeMusic at Mealtimes – training specifically designed for catering and health and social care staff in a variety of care settings. Research has shown that sounds in the environment can influence how we taste and experience food. Researchers have also found that playing music at mealtimes, particularly for people with dementia, is one measure which could improve food and fluid intake, relaxation and mealtime behaviour. The course develops skills to promote a more pleasant and therapeutic eating environment. The course takes place over 2 half-day workshops. The 2 session ‘Music at Mealtimes’ course costs £65 per person or £595.00 for a group of up to 10 learners.



Music in Care Practioners [new!]

The Music in Care Practitioner (MiCP) course was developed to provide knowledge and skills that would enable skilled musicians to competently work in healthcare and social care sector. There are over 1 million adults receiving social care (NHS Digital 2017) all of whom would gain therapeutic benefit from meaningful, music engagement. As important and effective as music in care practice by frontline workers is, it cannot be denied that the workforce is stretched and in short supply. There are only 800 (approximately) registered Music Therapist mostly working in children’s services. This leaves an acute gap in provision.

MiCP training aims to equip skilled musicians with an understanding of the therapeutic value of meaningful music engagement has for individuals in health and social care. This is the first programme that is enabling musicians to broaden their scope of practice and benefit from an evidence based competency framework which standardises practice, conduct and continuous development. Trained MiCPs have access to a community of practice to share ideas and useful information and training. 

This course has been piloted with our collaborators Orchestra of the Swan  

Please contact us for booking information.

Download pdf flyer here

The Heron Well Being Music Cafes                                                

As a charity we have been involved in a number of projects that use music in a variety of care setting to improve the quality of life for people with dementia, people who care for others, those at end of life and people undergoing medical procedures.

The Heron Music Well Being Cafes are run on a fortnightly basis at three Castle Rock Pubs in Nottingham, the Poppy and Pint, the Bread & Bitter and the Willowbrook. The aim is to provide an inclusive space for people to come along and enjoy live music based on the five principles of Well Being; connecting, being active, learning, taking notice and giving.

The cafes are about avoiding labels and bringing people together with a wide variety of mental health conditions, with those who are socially isolated or who just want to share a cup of coffee and have a sing! No charge is made to attend and refreshments are provided though we welcome donations to ensure the cafes can continue.

The sessions are led by specially trained Music in Care Practitioners who are supported by a team of volunteers. In line with our core principles we ensure the musicians are paid the appropriate rate for their skills and experience and we are actively seeking to increase the number of musicians that we employ as the café network grows.

Sessions take place in morning between 10.30 and 12noon on a fortnightly basis (not bank holidays). Contact us for details.

If you are musician, a music lover or someone who would like to support us by volunteering to support the work of the charity please contact us. If you would like to make a donation to support the our cafes project please follow this link

The original café at the Poppy & Pint is partly sponsored by the Trent Bridge Community Trust. If you are a local business who would like to support your community by sponsoring a café please do not hesitate to contact us, we are actively seeking to extend the numbers of cafes we run and the musicians that we employ.

Or email us on

Or you can call us on 0115 9145879

Is a Music in Care Practioner the same as a music therapist?

No, they are not music therapist. In the UK Music Therapist have to undertake post-graduate education and be registered to practice. Music Therapy also has rigorous clinical aims and outcomes. A MiCP is a skilled musician trained in person centred and therapeutic, meaningful engagement with individuals/groups.

*Therapeutic – healing or restoring health or bringing a sense of peace or wellbeing (physical, psychological or emotional).

Is a Music in Care Practitioner an entertainer?

No, whilst they may have a performance background. MiCPs turn their music skill from entertainment to focus on the therapeutic engagement with individuals/groups. They are invested in the impact of their musicianship and work together with the care team to design and develop person centred music approaches that are most supportive to the person. Entertainment tends to be a one-off experience (a good one) and does not involve individuals in the same way.

What kind of activities does a Music in Care Practioner do?

MiCPs are musicians who work with any range of instruments including voice. For example, piano, guitar, drums, harp, trumpet and even bassoon! They engage people in singing/playing to individuals. They can also work collaboratively singing/playing together with individuals, song writing, talking, reminiscing and using life story work.

What sort of areas can Music in Care Practioner work in?

MiCP choose their own area of interest and our training helps them to develop their practice. We have MiCPs working in dementia care homes, residential homes, hospice care, hospital and community music/singing groups. Areas of interest are open so MiCPs may focus on dementia, autism & learning disabilities, children and young people and so on.

What are the competencies that a Music in Care Practitioner has?

The competency framework is very comprehensive. MiCP training supports development these areas and more:

·         Music Practice

·         Understanding Health & Social Care Context

·         Music in Care Practitioner Competencies

·         Partnership Working

·         Agreed ways of working

·         Self-Care

What are the Music in Care Practitioner course pathways currently available?

Soundtrack to My Life

Music practice in dementia care and other memory loss conditions. Older people services.

My Story in Music

Music practice in end of life care and life limiting conditions. Hospice care settings.

Music is medicine

Music practice in healthcare and serious medical conditions.

 My Music Oasis

Music practice in family carers in all areas.

My Journey in Music

Music practice in children and young people’s settings. Autism & Learning disabilities.