Playing Out

To mark Hearing Awareness Week, I thought I’d explore how people with hearing loss still experience, enjoy, perform and compose music and song. One present day composer who lives with hearing loss is Richard Ayres. I first came across Ayres’ music in 2020 when he opened a BBC Proms concert with a work exploring hisContinue reading “Playing Out”

Spring Fever

Where I live, the last week has shown nature’s different extremes. First we saw its wilder side as three storms hit in under a week. With high winds, then heavy rain and dark skies, it seemed winter was still at its worst. Now I sit here writing this in sunshine, with a cloudless sky throughContinue reading “Spring Fever”

Drawing A Line

How might drawing have a particular contribution to make to wellbeing? What could be distinct about drawing? When I first got into art, I started with drawing, and it was a few years before I began to paint as well. Even now, I still feel far more at ease with a pencil or pen thanContinue reading “Drawing A Line”

Good Mood Guitar

Guitar Day falls on 11 February each year, an opportunity to highlight guitar’s huge contribution to music of all kinds. For while guitars might most immediately conjure up pop or rock, there’s great diversity in guitar music, and this sheer diversity gives guitar real scope to boost wellbeing. Not only is there acoustic as opposedContinue reading “Good Mood Guitar”

Indoors And Out

All the time I hear of great ways care home staff engage residents with nature and the outdoors. One was a song trail around a care home garden, with song titles chalked on the ground at various points to encourage people to spend time outside following the trail. Many homes have bird tables or windowContinue reading “Indoors And Out”

Over the Rainbow

Colour transforms. I enjoy drawing in black and white, but when I paint in colour or add colour to a drawing, it comes to life in a new way. It’s all about spectrums and how we see light. Why then do we respond strongly to particular colours? What is colour theory and how can itContinue reading “Over the Rainbow”

Generation Sound

By disrupting schooling, Covid 19 highlighted a surge in mental health issues among children and young people – but this has been growing for some time, before the pandemic began, for many different reasons. So I’ve been thinking about ways children interact with music, and how this could help – or hinder. Music is suchContinue reading “Generation Sound”

Going Wild

People all turn to nature in different ways and will respond differently. But one common thread running through nature’s impact on wellbeing is the otherness of nature – how it becomes an opportunity to stand back from our own experiences, thoughts and needs, and to see differently. My last nature-themed blog post focused on aContinue reading “Going Wild”

Think Art

As I think about how art can help mental health and wellbeing, two distinct ways emerge. One way sees creativity as a positive to focus on, as refuge or haven, space away from the everyday and from specific issues. The other uses creativity directly to address and work through those issues, to express thoughts, feelings,Continue reading “Think Art”

Light And Shade

The more I share and learn and experiment with art for wellbeing, the more different impacts I see and experience. Art can be therapy for all different issues, some long-running or severe, others more everyday. Many of us struggle with the long hours of darkness in early and mid winter, the days when it barelyContinue reading “Light And Shade”