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In the final part of my blog about how we can support young people  and their mental health through the arts, I discuss how we have begun to embed mental health champions into our young people's delivery team as well as proactively promoting the positive impact of engaging with the music projects we already offer.
 

In the second of this three part series, some of the young people we work with at More Music share their experiences of how coming to projects and playing music has a positive impact on mental health and well being.

 

Week after week we read reports about the rising number of students disclosing a mental illlness when they arrive at university (Krause, 2017), of how ‘girls and young women are experiencing a “gathering crisis” in their mental health linked to conflict with friends, fears of body image and pressures created by social media’ (Campbell, 2017). That in an average class of 30 schoolchildren, 3 will suffer from a diagnosable mental health disorder; of how social media platforms, described as more addictive than cigarettes, are detrimental to young people’s mental health and well being (2016, RSPH).

“Writing and making music helps me to express my emotions in a calm, productive way and helps me to deal with situations which I would struggle to deal with. It helps me understand and evaluate situations more clearly rather than have everything get confused in my head. It’s a good way to get everything out and say everything I want to say.”

The Kithara Project is a collective of guitarists working to promote the guitar and with it, to create, perform, educate, engage, and empower in socially responsible ways in Mexico and the USA.

Noise Solution's focus on capturing impact and finding a validated means of measuring well-being has led to funding from the Suffolk Clinical Commissioning Group. This is a huge validation for Noise Solution and a recognition that, when properly evidenced community music can be commissioned as a clinical intervention.

The launch of the National Open Youth Orchestra (NOYO), the first ever national disabled-led youth orchestra, is a significant moment in music education history. It is with great excitement that we release the Executive Summary of the NOYO Feasibility Study, which Sound Connections was commissioned in January 2017 to research and compile.

A perfect storm is rapidly approaching in music education in England. Read on to see how you can help and gain support.

Carrie Lennard is an SEN music teacher at St Ann’s School in Ealing and creator of The Improvise Approach, an innovative educational tool to support music making with SEN children.  Below she shares her thoughts on technology, the challenges facing music practitioners in SEN and creating change in the curriculum.

Wired4Music is the network for 16-25 years olds all interested in music and living in London, hosted by Sound Connections. Members can sign up quickly and easily via the Wired4Music website, and the Sound Connections team work closely with these individuals and groups to empower their music projects and ideas.

Demonstrating impact is a hot topic. Terms such as outcomes framework, Theory of Change, Cost Benefit Analysis, causality and soft versus hard outcomes are increasingly commonplace and it can be overwhelming figuring out what this all means and how it applies to you. In music education evidencing impact is often a complicated business, and funders require different types of evaluation.