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Musicians in Health is an Arts Mid North Coast project initiated and managed by local musician and community arts facilitator Stephanie Sims, and modelled on a similar project by Arts Out West. Originally titled 'Musicians in Hospitals', the project received seed funding in 2019 through the NSW Government's 'My Community Projects' program in the Coffs Harbour electorate. 

This innovative project is part of Arts Mid North Coast's commitment and continuing work in the area of Arts, Health and Wellbeing. Music therapy as a profession largely grew out of the need for a college curriculum after World War II when injured musicians were regularly performing in hospitals. Further research has shown that live music has enormous benefits in reducing anxiety, stress and improving patient general wellbeing.

The Musicians in Hospitals project on the Mid North Coast aims to re-establish this long-held belief of the use of the arts in health to aid recovery. The program has the potential to be rolled out into other hospitals across the region providing new opportunities for musicians to work in healthcare settings.

The pilot program trains local musicians to deliver musical experiences at the Coffs Harbour Health Campus over a six-month period. In collaboration with staff at the MNC Local Area Health District and local Registered Music Therapist Bonnie Nilsson, an intensive seven-day training program was created specifically to educate the participating musicians on the role of music and how it can be effectively administered in a hospital environment to achieve greater therapeutic health outcomes.

To ensure long term sustainability of the project, a partnership has also been established with the University of Southern Queensland who will evaluate the project and create new research in the field of music in health.

In 2020, Arts Mid North Coast was successful in receiving funding for the project through Coffs Harbour City Council to deliver the program online via telehealth platforms and modalities (including Zoom) to a range of senior clients of the Mid North Coast Local Health District’s (MNCLHD) Carers Program in the Coffs Harbour LGA.

The sessions will include a range of songs and musical performances interspersed with activities such as music trivia, singalongs, rhythm exercises and story sharing on musical experiences. Up to 10 senior participants will be assisted to join each session by their carers, delivered directly to the participants rooms/homes on their devices (computers, tablets, smart phone, etc)

For more information contact:

Stephanie Sims - email: or call 0421 346 713

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We live and work across the traditional lands of the Gumbaynggirr, Dunghutti/Thunghutti and Biripi Nations on the Mid North Coast of NSW.

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