A New Song

When I told someone that I would be writing about singing, music and Parkinson’s Disease, she asked: “But why would music help Parkinson’s?” And her response struck me, because it’s true that the part music can play in many illnesses is far less well known than, say, its impact on dementia. Through recent years soContinue reading “A New Song”

Breathing Space

Many people welcome any new year with euphoria, with high hopes of new opportunities. For others a new year might be a time of fear, anxiety, dread or uncertainty over what is to come. To many people every single day is a hurdle, let alone an entire year. People who care for others, or whoContinue reading “Breathing Space”

Look And See

Remembering the famous carol ‘The holly and the ivy’ got me thinking about the importance of plants at all times: and how trying to see and notice might become a practicable, everyday way to boost wellbeing. In many woods (the setting for the carol), the holly and the ivy would stand out as the onlyContinue reading “Look And See”

Shared Or Unique?

Music has great power as a unifying force. Songs and music create a shared vocabulary to draw on as they become a common experience. But while music builds community, its impact on us is also highly personal: I might respond to a song very differently to you. These two distinct impacts music has on usContinue reading “Shared Or Unique?”

Talking Of Trees

Planting a tree is an investment in the future, an act of hope. It also recognizes trees’ enormous impacts, not only on the natural environment and on ecosystems but on wellbeing. Of all features of the natural world, trees have maybe the most widely proven impact on our wellbeing: easing fear, anxiety and depression, connectingContinue reading “Talking Of Trees”

Freedom Through Music

How can the ability to improvise music survive the onset of dementia? On one level, Four Notes is the story of one man’s musical imagination, even as he lives with dementia. But on another level it could reveal more about improvisation’s specific scope for music for wellbeing across different situations. You are probably familiar withContinue reading “Freedom Through Music”

Still There

As nature falls dormant once again, its power to boost wellbeing might seem less obvious. Weather can have a strong impact on mood. At this time of year in particular, nature itself can fuel depression, as nights draw in and growth slows or halts. And maybe never more so than this year, when autumn andContinue reading “Still There”

Painting Your Mind

A paintbrush might seem an unlikely tool to ease mental health issues like anxiety. But art can do this in different ways. It can help by focusing the mind on a creative task, so that you concentrate more fully on what you are doing and the dear loosens its hold, for a time. It canContinue reading “Painting Your Mind”

A Song To Sing

Is singing always more powerful than instrumental music in boosting wellbeing? This is one question Medley plans to explore more widely. If it is more powerful, then why is this? Many songs have a strong narrative element. Is it this storytelling which makes songs memorable because people can identify with them? Do we have anContinue reading “A Song To Sing”