The health and wellbeing outcomes from the Viva Voices pilot workshops were considerable. Participants learned new skills, improved social connectedness, self-esteem, self-confidence and mental health, felt better about themselves and healthier at the end of the workshops.

Using the World Health Organisation Quality of Life health assessment instrument, WHOQOL, and internationally standardised self-assessment measures, the Viva Voices program has achieved statistically significant results. The most notable were found in a Brisbane group where there was a 6 per cent improvement in physical functioning (WHO-Qol Bref, p=0.035), a 7 per cent improvement in mental health (SF-36v2, p=0.045) and a 12.5 per cent improvement in social functioning (SF-36v2, p=0.052).

In addition to these health measurement tools, Musica Viva has also compiled its own evaluation process resulting in some very encouraging statistics. The first pilot project resulted in 80 per cent of participants reporting increased fitness, 94 per cent reported an increase in flexibility, 98 per cent reported improved mood and 95 per cent reported increased relaxation and calmness. In addition, 96 per cent reported improvement in self-esteem and 80 per cent reported making new and lasting friendships. To date, similar results have been achieved in all centres.

‘I had no social contact before; basically I never got out of the house. Week to week the workshops were something to get up for. They really made a difference in my life.’ 2007 Campbelltown participant

Supporting Research

An enormous amount of research has been done and continues to be undertaken on the benefits of music for therapeutic and emotional care, health and wellbeing. Whether old or young, well or unwell, impaired or mobile, music has the proven ability to improve quality of life.

This research includes:

"It is more than singing. It is friendship. It is helping our brain function and much more. ‘We learnt a great deal along the way and the enjoyment was most worthwhile. ‘It [singing] brightens that day amazingly." 2011 Mornington Peninsular participants, average age 83