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1st June, 2023

ARU music therapy receives £970k funding boost


The Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC), part of UK Research and Innovation (UKRI), has awarded £970,000 to the Cambridge Institute for Music Therapy Research (CIMTR)at Anglia Ruskin University (ARU), to help experts capture music therapy breakthroughs. 

The funding will allow music therapists at ARU to enhance their research capabilities by acquiring a range of tools for brain imaging, motion capture, eye tracking and audio-visual recordings, as well as other additional hardware and software.  

ARU academics are studying the creative processes which form part of making and listening to music in both performance and music therapy settings, and the new funding has been allocated as part of AHRC’s Creative Research Capability Scheme (CResCa), following a proposal submitted by Jorg Fachner, Professor of Music, Health and the Brain, and Dr Clemens Maidhof, Senior Research Fellow in Music Therapy. 

Outlining what this funding means for music therapy at ARU, Professor Fachner said: 

“This new technology will allow us to study creativity in action. Thanks to the support from AHRC we‘ll now be able to use tools normally applied in medical environments to study interaction in music, and see exactly what is taking place in the brains of the participants. 
“We will be able to capture in-situ processes and seize the moment when new creative ideas emerge that bring about change. Every artist knows about these precious moments when inspiration happens and they head to their workshop or recording studio to make the most of it.  
“Creative processes in music therapy are very similar, as certain moments can bring about change which can transform people’s lives. These tools will help us to capture and analyse these moments when they happen, giving us a better understanding of the processes that occur during breakthroughs in music therapy.”  
The funding award for ARU forms part of a much broader UKRI investment programme, which will see £103 million channelled into the expansion and upgrade of Britain’s research infrastructure. 

This figure includes £18.7 million designated for research in the arts and humanities, with improving the visibility and resilience of practice-led research in this area cited as a priority.

Professor Christopher Smith, AHRC’s Executive Chair, said:

“This crucial support for UK research infrastructure is part of the package of support provided by government so that our research and innovation communities can carry on with their essential work.

“The investments, made across the UK, will provide UK researchers with advanced equipment, facilities and technology, and help maintain the UK’s position as a leader in research and innovation. 

“This support will ensure the UK is an attractive place for scientists, researchers and entrepreneurs to live, work and innovate.”

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