Trish Vella-Burrows

Trish Vella-Burrows

Principal Research Fellow

Trish Vella-Burrows

Professional qualifications

1977 – cont. Registered Nurse, Bromley Group School of Nursing

2001 BA (Hons) Music

2011 PhD in Music and Dementia, awarded by University of Kent

Current posts

  • Principal Research Fellow, Sidney De Haan Research Centre for Arts and Health, Canterbury Christ Church University
  • Visiting Lecturer in Arts and Health
  • Director of Research, Canterbury Cantata Trust (singing for wellbeing charity)
  • Associate Director of Research, Nick Ewbank Associates (cultural regeneration)
  • Co-Director, Research Network for Music and Health, University of Kent
  • Founder and Co-Director, Music4Wellbeing Community Interest Company

Current research interests and projects

  • Dance activities to reduce falls in older age
  • Dance for people with dementia
  • Singing and rhythmic movement for people with Parkinson’s
  • Arts activities for family carers of people with dementia
  • Cultural value, social capital and population/global health and wellbeing, and associated mechanisms for fostering health behaviour change

Trish has been working in the field of Arts and Health since 2003. During that time, Trish has gained extensive experience in research and applied teaching and practice. In the latter, she has developed several frameworks and models for health and arts practitioners.

Trish works regularly with outside partners who both research and deliver arts and cultural activities. She is currently leading on two research projects: i) Ideas Test’s Sea Folk Sing project; and ii) BBC Local Radio/Nick Ewbank Associates’ Up For Arts project. Both projects are investigating the effect of public arts engagement on population health and wellbeing. Trish is also co-leading an international project evaluating the effects of singing for people with Parkinson’s with University of Kent and University of Derby. Trish is involved in Arts4Dementia’s national campaign for the social prescription of arts, and is an external advisor for Alzheimer’s Society’s redesign of Singing for the Brain services.

Recent publications

  • Whitehouse, P, Vella-Burrows, T and Stevenson, D. (2017)  Global perspectives on dementia and art: An international discussion about changing public health policy, Dementia: the International Journal of Social Research and Practice. First published online: November 8, 2017
  • Clift, S., Gilbert, R. and Vella-Burrows, T. (2017)  Health and well-being benefits of singing for older people.  In Sutherland, N., et al. (eds.) Music, Health and Wellbeing: Exploring music for health equity and social justice.  London: Palgrave Macmillan.
  • Vella-Burrows, T (2017) An evaluation of the South Kent Coast CCG Singing for Wellbeing and Health. Available online at:

  • Vella-Burrows, T. (2017) Carers Create: an evaluation of arts-centred support services for carers of people with dementia. Available online at:
  • Franklin-Gould, V. and Vella-Burrows T. (2017) A report on the feasibility of fully integrating arts and heritage activities into dementia care services. Available online at:

  • Unadkat, S., Camic P.M. & Vella-Burrows, T. (2016). Understanding the experience of group singing for couples where one partner has a diagnosis of dementia. The Gerontologist. Advanced access: doi:10.1093/geront/gnv698

  • Vella-Burrows, T. Pickard, A. and Wilson, L. (2016) ‘Dance to Health’: An evaluation of health, social and artistic outcomes of a dance programme for the prevention of falls. Report for AESOP. Available online at: 

  • Vella-Burrows, T. and Wilson, L. (2016) Remember to Dance: Evaluating the impact of dance activities for people in different stages of dementia. Report for Green Candle Dance Company. Available online at:

  • Vella-Burrows, T. (2015)  The arts and older people: a global perspective. In Clift, S. and Camic, P. (eds)(2015)  Oxford Textbook for Creative Arts, Health and Wellbeing, Oxford: Oxford University Press. 235-244. 
  • Vella-Burrows, T. and Bamford, A. (2015)  Choir of the Year Competition 2014. Canterbury: Canterbury Christ Church University
  • Vella-Burrows, T. Ewbank, N., Mills, S. et al. (2014) Cultural value and Social Capital: Investigating social capital, health and wellbeing impacts in three coastal towns undergoing culture-led regeneration. Sidney De Haan Research Centre and Nick Ewbank Associates.

  • Clift, S., Morrison, I., Vella-Burrows, T., Hancox, G. et al. (2011) Singing for mental health and wellbeing: Community initiatives in England, In Brader, A. (Ed.)  Songs of Resilience, Cambridge: Cambridge Scholars Press. 
  • Skingley, A. and Vella-Burrows, T. (2010) ‘Therapeutic effects of music and singing for older people’, Nursing Standard, 24,19, 35-41. 
  • Vella-Burrows, T. (2009)  Music as a therapeutic medium for engagement: training to support the well-being of caregivers as well as their cared-for patients, Working with Older People, 13, 3, 25-28. 

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Last edited: 21/02/2020 15:30:00