Issue 16

Let's Make & Play Music

music roomFirstly,our aims are simply to create opportunities for people with mental health problems to use musical instruments and equipment, to experiment and play music with other people. Secondly, through publicizing our activities and spotlighting some of the talents and achievements of our members, to present mental health in a more positive light to the public at large.

As with music therapy, there is no need for participants to be able to play an instrument: the emphasis is on self-expression and enjoyment rather than technical competence. Different individuals may have different reasons for attending the group: maybe just for enjoyment or as a hobby, maybe for relaxation, support, confidence building or for self-expression. The Wednesday Music Club has very little structure to it, what happens is that usually one member of the group will, unprompted, start strumming on the guitar, playing a rhythm on the bongo, or something along those lines. Then, gradually, the rest of the group will join in.

Members are encouraged to pay attention to what other people are playing so that the result is not too chaotic, but at the same time add their own original contribution to the overall sound. The Music Club provides a relaxed and supportive environment for people where they can feel free to express themselves musically and to help create something new and original (i.e. musical improvisation). Despite the unstructured nature of this, however, it is often surprising how chaotic noise can gradually evolve in to rhythmic melodies. Unlike in a band or an orchestra, not being able to concentrate well is of no hindrance in a music workshop

As a result of the Wednesday Music Club we have been able to form various music groups taking part throughout the week and weekends where both patients and staff create and perform together.

DaleP (Activities Co-ordinator)

Music Club Update

In a comparatively short space of time, the Music Club has gone from strength to strength. The instruments that have been purchased over the past few months have been acoustic and electric guitars, amplifiers with accessories.

Music Room A drum set, 32 minor percussion instruments, full size congas, a Grande keyboard and a P.A. System.

Catering for most tastes in music from pop to classical, tuition, is arranged for patients i.e. drums tuition classes for beginners to advanced pupils, guitar and keyboard tuition. Tuition is given by outside professional tutors, staff or patients

Pupils are encouraged not only to learn an instrument but to write and perform music at one of the forthcoming lunchtime shows, whether it be solo, duo, trio or part of a band. We are currently writing our own compositions to record and create our own CD´s.

DaleP (Activities Co-ordinator)