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”

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”

Mood Music

Opening up new perspectives, boosting mood, enabling people to express themselves: music, art and nature all have lasting impacts on mental health and wellbeing. Future Medley blog posts on mental health will look at art and nature as well, but here I’ll explore a little of music’s specific impact. 10th October marks World Mental HealthContinue reading “Mood Music”

Care To Create

You might think that during long months of lockdown, arts activities would have ground to a halt in care homes of all places. You would be wrong. In a year when so much media coverage of care homes has focused on delays in coronavirus testing and scarcity of PPE, it is more important than everContinue reading “Care To Create”

In Unison

As we adjust to Covid-19 for the long haul, uncertainties has become one of few certainties. And uncertainty over communal music-making at this time throws up questions on music’s impact on wellbeing. Is it the music itself which helps or the opportunities it creates to interact with others? Is hearing or performing music alone equallyContinue reading “In Unison”