Sound Health Network Launches With Virtual Event on Jan. 26

Sound Health Network Launch

The intersection of music and health is a burgeoning area of interest, with new opportunities for exploration and understanding. To promote research and public awareness in this area, the National Endowment for the Arts is partnering with the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF) on the Sound Health Network, a collaboration with the National Institutes of Health (NIH), the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, and Renée Fleming, the center’s artistic advisor.

To launch this new network, the Arts Endowment and UCSF held a free, virtual presentation on Tuesday, Jan. 26, 2021 at 5 p.m. ET/2 p.m. PT. Watch a recording of the presentation

Through remarks and conversations between musical, clinical, and scientific leaders, this 60-minute event will explore how music can provide insights into brain functioning, reduce social isolation, promote community solidarity, and influence health. Sanjay Gupta will join participants including musicians Renée Fleming, Quetzal Flores, and Esperanza Spalding; NIH Director Francis Collins, MD, PhD, and Arts Endowment Research Director Sunil Iyengar; as well as Emmeline Edwards, PhD, director of the Division of Extramural Research of the National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health at NIH; John Iversen, PhD, associate research scientist at UC San Diego; and Jefri Franks, MS CPC.

Participating members of the Sound Health Network leadership team include co-directors Julene Johnson, PhD, of the UCSF School of Nursing, and Charles Limb, MD, of the UCSF School of Medicine; Sheri Robb, PhD, MT-BC, at Indiana University School of Nursing in Indianapolis; and Indre Viskontas, MM, PhD, at the University of San Francisco.

The launch will also showcase resources and services that the network will provide on its new website and on an ongoing basis. Follow the Sound Health Network on Twitter and Facebook.

“The Sound Health Network is an important next step in raising public awareness about the relationship of music to health and wellness, said Mary Anne Carter, chairman of the National Endowment for the Arts. “This network will highlight important research in the field and will convene musicians, neuroscientists, music therapists, and others to explore avenues for collaboration. We are excited to launch this network with UCSF and its partners.”

Julene Johnson
Julene Johnson, professor at the UCSF School of Nursing, is co-director of Sound Health Network.

“The Sound Health Network is a long-awaited resource that will help facilitate multi-disciplinary dialogue about the intersection of music and health, said Julene Johnson with the UCSF School of Nursing. “The healing power of music —to individuals and to society—is more important than ever.”

The Sound Health Network emerged from the Sound Health initiative, a partnership between the Kennedy Center and NIH in association with the National Endowment for the Arts that has brought together scientists, music therapists, artists, and the public to explore music’s impact on the brain, health, and wellness. The Arts Endowment has partnered with NIH to cosponsor a series of new research funding opportunities in “Music and Health,” including this one.

About Research and the National Endowment for the Arts

Research into the value and impact of the arts is a core function of the National Endowment for the Arts. Since 2017, the Arts Endowment has supported NEA Research Labs around the country. Comprised of transdisciplinary teams of researchers and arts practitioners, the Labs are exploring the arts in three realms: health and social/emotional well-being; creativity, cognition, and learning; and entrepreneurship and innovation. 

Beginning in 2011, the Arts Endowment has convened a Federal Interagency Taskforce on the Arts and Human Development to encourage more and better research on how the arts can help people reach their full potential at all stages of life. Taskforce presentations have included “Music Therapy, Music Listening, and the Cancer Experience,” as well as “Alzheimer’s and the Arts.”

Learn more about the Arts Endowment’s office of Research and Analysis at

About the University of California, San Francisco

The University of California, San Francisco (UCSF) is exclusively focused on the health sciences and is dedicated to promoting health worldwide through advanced biomedical research, graduate-level education in the life sciences and health professions, and excellence in patient care. UCSF Health, which serves as UCSF’s primary academic medical center, includes top-ranked specialty hospitals and other clinical programs, and has affiliations throughout the Bay Area.

(Updated: Jan. 28, 2021; Original post: Jan. 15, 2021)