Behind the curtains

A lot happens behind the scenes.

Find out how we work and apply our knowledge to inspire communities through the arts.

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Art therapy in a clinical setting

The Inquiry Report, Creative Health: The Arts for Health and Wellbeing - Second Edition, presents the findings of two years of research, evidence-gathering and discussions with patients, health and social care professionals, artists and arts administrators, academics, people in local government, ministers, other policy-makers and parliamentarians from both Houses of Parliament.

“There is growing evidence that engagement in activities like dance, music, drama, painting and reading help ease our minds and heal our bodies. This timely report sets out a clear policy framework for the cultural sector to continue its impressive work in improving people’s health and wellbeing.”

-Sir Nicholas Serota, Chair, Arts Council England

The impact of music on the brain

One of the first things that happens when music enters our brains is the triggering of pleasure centers that release dopamine, a neurotransmitter that makes you feel happy. This response is so quick, the brain can even anticipate the most pleasurable peaks in familiar music and prime itself with an early dopamine rush.

Beyond simply making you feel good, however, there's evidence that music can even be good for your health. Research has shown that listening to music is associated with upticks in immunity-boosting antibodies and cells that protect against bacteria and other invaders. Music has also proven to be effective across a variety of treatment scenarios for conditions ranging from premature birth to depression to Parkinson's disease.

Even in terms of brain development, music can play a key role. Training to play an instrument, for instance, is believed to increase gray matter volume in certain areas of the brain, not unlike how physical exercise can tone and enlarge muscles. As a result, musicians often experience improvement in brain functions like auditory processing, learning and memory.

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History of poetry

Poetry as an art form predates written text. The earliest poetry is believed to have been recited or sung, employed as a way of remembering oral history, genealogy, and law. 

Early attempts to define poetry focused on the uses of speech in rhetoric, drama, song and comedy. Later attempts concentrated on features such as repetition and rhyme, and emphasised the aesthetics which distinguish poetry from prose. 

From the mid-20th century, poetry has sometimes been more loosely defined as a fundamental creative act using language.

More recently, poetry has merged with music to give birth to rap, which stands for rhythm and poetry. Over the decades, this has given way to numerous new genres which continue to multiply today. Poetry slams and open mic nights are vibrant signs of creativity and culture of a town, and we at Poetical Word are proud to represent such a variety of talent in West London.


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