Project information

Live Music Now: Menuhin Centenary Project

We will bring inspirational live music to older people living with dementia in care homes and children with special educational needs in England, Wales and Northern Ireland. Music (delivered by high quality young musicians) can make a HUGE difference to them; and their carers, teachers and families.

April 2016 - December 2016

Charity information: Live Music Now

Live Music Now logo
  • Need


    The brain responds to music in a unique and powerful way. Research increasingly shows the benefits of music activity for children with special educational needs and for older people living with dementia.

    Despite the growing evidence base, in special schools there are diminishing resources for music provision and care home budgets are under increasing strain, as more people are living longer. Music needs to be seen as a vital intervention, accessible to those who need it most.


    Live Music Now has reached over two million people in the past 38 years through transformative and inspiring music performances by professional emerging musicians. Our Menuhin Centenary project will extend delivery and support further research and a UK-wide advocacy campaign to ensure that everyone is aware of and can access the benefits of live music.

  • Aims

    Aim 1

    To bring inspiring live music to older people in care homes and children in special schools.


    » - We will organise interactive music performances in care homes and special schools using high-quality, trained professional musicians.
    » - We will engage older people, students, carers and staff in the creative process, giving them new skills and ways to interact.

    What success will look like

    Success will mean extending our reach in care homes and special schools, with at least 2,000 people taking part, and positive feedback from beneficiaries, carers/teachers/families.

    Aim 2

    To show the impact of music on older people with dementia & chlidren with special educational needs.


    » We will construct a UK-wide campaign around the Menuhin Centenary to increase awareness of the life changing benefits of music intervention
    » We will carefully (and appropriately) evaluate the project results, in consultation with academics, to demonstrate the value of this type of work.

    What success will look like

    We will gather meaningful data, which we will present to the wider sector, which (if positive) will encourage more people to invest in this type of activity.

  • Impact


    We hope each of the venues engaged will see the value of engaging students and residents in creative or artistic activities, creating better lives for them; and also for their carers, families and staff and work towards a sustainable way of integrating music intervention in their care home/school in the future.


    There is a risk that musicians could withdraw at the last minute. But we have 350 musicians on our scheme, so can usually handle such changes.

    There is a risk that musicians might not perform well in care homes or special schools. But we have developed a careful training and mentoring scheme, to ensure they have the necessary skills and knowledge.


    We will provide a monthly email report, showing highlights of the project, comments from musicians and care homes, and any photographs that are possible to take. Details of forthcoming performances will all be listed on our website.

  • Budget

    Budget - Project Cost: £45,000

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      Amount Heading Description
      £30,500 Music sessions Organising music performances in care homes and special schools
      £3,000 Training Training for musicians in leading music for people living with dementia and special needs
      £2,500 Evaluation Staff time spent monitoring and collecting data.
      £4,500 Co-ordination Staff time spent setting up the performances and liaising with care homes.
      £4,500 Advocacy Film, photography and digital communications support for advocacy campaign
  • Background


    We work with care homes and special schools all around the UK. For the Menuhin Centenary project, we will concentrate on care homes and special schools in England, Wales and Northern Ireland in areas of deprivation, without access to funds to engage regular arts or participatory activities.


    The main beneficiaries will be the residents in care homes and special schools.

    There are 800,000 disabled children in the UK, of whom 40% are living in poverty.

    80% of care home residents are estimated to have a form of dementia. Two thirds of whom are women.

    Carers and staff at those care homes will also benefit, for whom this project could boost their morale and enrich relationships with residents.

  • Why Us?

    Why Us?

    Live Music Now has been at the forefront of music outreach since it was founded by Yehudi Menuhin and his friend Ian Stoutzker in 1977. Next year will be the Centenary of Menuhin's birth, and we hope to use this project to celebrate his contribution to the idea that music can inspire and change lives. We have over 350 excellent musicians on our scheme, and we have a strong track record of delivering this type of work. We are all very excited about it!

    Read more about the Charity running this project.


    Evan Dawson

    Evan is LMN's Executive Director, who will have overall responsibility for supervising the project.

    Karen Irwin

    Karen leads all of LMN's work in the specialist area of children and young people, and will ensure each of the projects is set up and evaluated well.

    Douglas Noble

    Douglas leads all of LMN's work in the specialist area of wellbeing / older people, and will ensure each of the projects is set up and evaluated well.

Music is the language which penetrates most deeply into the human spirit reaching people through every barrier, disability, language and circumstance.

Yehudi Menuhin