Music and young people’s mental health

Lewisham Music have been funded to help young people use music as a coping strategy for mental health.

 

The pandemic continues to put a huge strain on many young people who were already struggling with their mental health, because of traumatic experiences, social isolation, a loss of routine and a breakdown in support.

 

Lewisham Music is delighted to be able to respond to this situation with the announcement of our new programme ‘Sonic Minds’, funded by Youth Music. This two-year programme will support hundreds of young people at elevated risk of experiencing poor mental health. Through collaborative songwriting and music production our team of Music Leaders will work with young people experiencing poor mental health, working with them to share their stories, celebrate their identity and express themselves through music.

 

Most of us have used music to improve our mood. But how does music impact on our emotional wellbeing and how can you use it to improve young people’s mental health?

 

It isn’t hard to see the innate connection between music and mental health. We know that listening to music can change our mood and help us process and understand our feelings and experiences. In fact, creating music can further deepen that process, as well as strengthen our connection to ourselves and others.

 

“Music is my form of expression whether it is happiness or sadness and has changed my life”

Jermaine Obieze, age 15

 

What actually happens when you listen to or make music?

 

Our work will feed into a growing body of research that evidences that taking part in making music can help:

 

  • to improve mood and promote a feeling of wellbeing

  • self-expression– improving an individual’s sense of self and resilience

  • to reduce anxiety

  • relaxation and stress management

  • to increase motivation

 

“Music is how I express myself and share my emotions”

Tyrique Gabbidon, age 13

 

Music as an intervention

 

Until recently music and mental health has remained largely in the music therapy field, an intervention with strict clinical standards. In recent years, however, a growing number of community music organisations have been exploring mental health work with young people. Our programme ‘Sonic Minds’ will build on our unique child-centred and youth-led practice to provide a safe space for young people to explore difficult feelings.

 

In a year that has seen young people face isolation, uncertainty, anxiety and in many cases trauma this work is needed now more than ever. For young people in challenging circumstances, music is a powerful tool for addressing mental health. Music speaks to and reaches them in a unique way, but more powerfully, when led by experienced practitioners, making music together can create build vital networks of support.

 

“Music is an escape for me”

Benjamin Radji, age 13

 

More information on our exciting Sonic Minds programme will be announced shortly. To join our journey or hear more about the evaluation of this programme please join our mailing list.

 

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