health and wellbeing

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“Music is one of the most profound human achievements. It compliments human linguistic ability and enters deeply into the human emotional experience.  As such, it is a tremendous contribution to healing when used by trained professionals.”
Karl H. Pribram, MD., PhD Professor Emeritus, Stanford University;

People who play Taiko Drumming, especially in a community or group setting, often express their subjective experience in highly positive terms – “joyful”, “exhilitaring” “energising”. As well as this qualitative evidence there is also an increasing amount of quantitative data that shows a wide range of benefits. One of the best collections of such research can be found at the Remo HealthRHYTHMS website.

Taiko West’s involvement in this area includes contributing to the Arts For Health autumn programme at The Hive Arts Centre in Shrewsbury in 2010 which was run jointly with the Early Intervention Team from the South Staff and Shropshire NHS, looking at practical ways of using music to encourage positive mental health outcomes for voluntary service users. We were also closely involved in delivering Taiko drumming sessions as part of the the Changing Tracks alcohol and substance misuse awareness project, referenced in the Nordoff Robbins 2011 report “Mapping Music and Health”.

Our most recent successful event was held in conjunction with Ursula and Heather from Taiko Mynydd Du at Bridgend in 2011 with The Stroke Association in Wales where 60 participants recovering from strokes enjoyed tai chi, singing and Taiko drumming. The event coordinator’s response: “Hi James, Heather and Ursula – just thought I’d let you know I’m still getting the most fantastic feedback from last Thursday’s workshop. It was totally inspiring. Thanks for all your hard work and I will be recommending you to all my Colleagues.”

In addition we have also attended, or run workshops or demonstrations at the following events:
All Wales Mental Health Promotion Network Conference, Wrexham 2010
Launch of online Youth Counselling Service for Powys C. Council, Newtown 2009
Breaking Cycles Conference:  Using The Arts As An Aid To Mental Health And Wellbeing, Telford 2009
Social & Emotional Aspects of Learning (SEAL) Conference, Albrighton Hall, Shropshire 2008



If you are an artist or creative practitioner working in Arts and Health in Shropshire and Telford and Wrekin, please fill in our online survey here.

In addition, if you would like share your ideas on Arts and Health in Shropshire, please join fellow creative practitioners for a Free Taiko Drumming Workshop at The Hive Arts Centre on Wednesday 11th December 2013. The drumming will be followed by discussion and feedback on the question of “What is Quality in Arts and Health?”  Optional light lunch also provided.
Workshop starts at 10.30am to 1.00pm. To book a place please contact James Barrow on: or call 01694 720169.