New survey reveals how music has helped the UK survive lockdown

According to a new survey published this week by UK Music and taken by pollsters Public First, music has played an integral role in reducing the stresses of the majority of UK citizens over lockdown.

It was the largest poll performed since the music industry’s initial closure back in March 2020, and was orchestrated to find out what role music played in the lives of the British public during the Covid-19 pandemic.

 The key findings of the wide-ranging poll revealed:

  • 57% of adults said music had helped them cope with lockdown
  • Around one million adults say they have taken up an instrument during lockdown
  • 71% think music makes them more productive at work/studying (From a personal perspective music & shows on BBC Sounds have kept me focussed at work & WFH. It helps my anxiety issues so much – in a good way!)

The Importance of Live Music & Venues To The Nation: 

  • Despite Covid-19, 43% of the public are interested in going to a live concert, gig or festival this year
  • Two-thirds (66%) said they planned to attend as many or even more gigs than before Covid-19 hit
  • Among 18-24 year-olds, 38% say going to a music festival or gig is one of the things they are most looking forward to
  • Almost half the public (45%) are worried about the financial viability of their local music venues due to the impact of Covid-19

JOSH TAERK gigs Aug/Sep 2021

DAN WALSH gigs news 2021

Dear all,

It’s been a while since I wrote to you so I thought I’d let you know that real life gigs are slowly coming back! Yay! I thank all of you who watched my regular live streams which really helped me stay positive and keep ticking over during all this madness. Read on for details of new dates!
GIGS!!
I’m over the moon to have some gigs on my website again that don’t involve the words facebook or zoom! First up I’m back in my former home of Newcastle THIS SATURDAY! I can’t wait to be back – there are a few tickets left if you want to grab them. Here’s the full list as it stands for the rest of the year:
  JULY
10 NEWCASTLE-UPON-TYNE Bobiks
https://www.punchbowlnewcastle.com/event-details/dan-walsh

AUGUST
06 ALSTONEFIELD Memorial Hall (with Brooks Williams, Tom McConville and Nic Zuppardi)
https://www.wegottickets.com/event/499009
07 ALSTONEFIELD Downhome Festival
https://www.wegottickets.com/event/489509
18 MORECAMBE (AND ONLINE) More Music
https://moremusic.org.uk/ (exact ticket link for the event shortly)
22 WHITSTABLE Whitstable Sessions (with Brooks Williams)
https://www.whitstablesessions.co.uk/ses…/brooks-williams/

SEPTEMBER
04 WOODBRIDGE Maverick Festival
https://maverickfestival.co.uk/
10 BRISTOL Folk House (with Della Mae)
https://bristolbeacon.org/shows/della-mae-2021/
12 SHIPLEY Live Room (with Della Mae)
https://www.seetickets.com/…/the-live-room…/1717529…
16 YORK Black Swan Folk Club
http://www.blackswanfolkclub.org.uk/
17 NEWCASTLE-UPON-TYNE The Globe (with Alistair Anderson)
https://theglobenewcastle.bar/…/alistair-anderson-dan…/
18 DUNBAR Music School (with Alistair Anderson)
ticket link coming soon
23 CRAIL Folk Club (with Alistair Anderson)
https://www.crailfolkclub.org.uk/
29 STAFFORD Pocket Film Festival (live accompaniment to silent films!)
http://www.unseencinema.co.uk/

OCTOBER
10 WALTON-ON-THAMES Riverhouse Barn
https://thelittleboxoffice.com/riverhouse/book/event/140632
16 HARTLEPOOL Folk Festival (Urban Folk Quartet)
https://www.hartlepoolfolkfest.co.uk/
21 FAREHAM Ashcroft Arts
https://www.ashcroft.org.uk/
22 NEW MILTON Forest Arts
https://www.forest-arts.co.uk/
23 ALDERSHOT West End Centre
https://www.westendcentre.co.uk/
NEW ALBUMS ON THE WAY
The pandemic put pay to the original plan of releasing my live album recorded in January 2020 with a big solo tour in April/May/June that year. Sorry for such a delayed release folks but the whole plan was to sell it at gigs so it seemed sensible to wait til gigs were back! However, be assured it will be out soon and another studio album is also in the works I’m pleased to say. Stay tuned!
PATREON
Just a reminder, my Patreon page is up and running and I’m really pleased with how it’s going. If you’re not a banjo player but like my stuff then the lowest tier is probably for you – three exclusive videos each month including an in-depth look at one of my numbers. The other two tiers are aimed at banjo players with four new tabs each month (two easier, two harder) and for the top tier, detailed video tutorials on each tab plus a look each month at a different area of banjo technique. Lots of other stuff posted for everyone too!
SKYPE TEACHING
Just to remind, my skype lessons are also still avilable! This is something I’ve been doing for a good nine years now and thanks to the wonders of the internet I’ve taught people in Australia, New Zealand, USA, Canada, Norway, Germany and here in England! Get in touch if you fancy a lesson – more details on the teaching page of my website: https://www.danwalshbanjo.co.uk/teachingandoutreach/
Thank you all so much for the continued support. It’s a crazy life I’ve chosen, and you all make it possible and I am forever grateful.

Best wishes,
Danjo

DON POWELL announces new charity single ‘Let There Be Drums’

Slade’s Don Powell has gathers up around 20 of his drumming mates for a new charity song to raise funds for out of work musicians and crew sidelined by the pandemic.

Slade II member Craig Fenney ran the original idea beside Don who recruited his mate, ELO’s Bev Bevan, and then watched more than a dozen other drummers come to the party.

Guest Drummers
Brian Bennett: The Shadows
Bev Bevan: Quill, ex Move, ex ELO, ex Black Sabbath
Andy Edwards: Robert Plant, IQ, Frost,
Rob Brian: Peter Gabriel, Simple Minds, Siouxsie Sioux
Jamie Little: Jason Donovan, Beverley Knight, Steve Vai
Karl Brazil: Robbie Williams, James Blunt
Tom Meadows: Kylie Minogue, Girls Aloud,
Jamie Morrison: The Stereophonics
Craig Bacon: Gloria Gaynor, Nimmo Brothers
Mickey Barker: Second Vision, Magnum, Bernie Marsden and KoM
Derrick McKenzie: Jamiroquai
Matt Cowley: Emily Capell, Bernie Marsden
Lee Agnew: Nazareth
Craig Blundell: Steve Wilson, Steve Hackett
Sticky’ Wicket: Chris Barber, Jools Holland
Richard Rayner: Multiple award winning percussion and drum performer
Rebekah Rayner: Session drummer
Toby Wilson: Session drummer
Mark DeCloedt: EMF

#30dayswild day 2

It’s day two of #30DaysWild and today, we’re saving insects!

Insects, from bees to butterflies to beetles, are AMAZING – a third of our food crops are pollinated by them, and many other animals rely on them for food, including hedgehogs and birds. Sadly, 41% of insects face extinction – threatened with losing their homes, the use of chemicals in our gardens and on our crops, and climate change. But you can help!

Insects like bumblebees need our help Here are three easy ways to help insects:

  • Say NO to pesticides in your garden ⛔️
  • Leave a patch of your lawn to grow long 🌱
  • Make a mini pond for water-based insects! 💦

Live Well Every Day: Your Plan for a Happy Body and Mind

Dr Alex George is an A&E & TV doctor. He has been working in A&E as an emergency doctor throughout the COVID-19 pandemic and has become a well-known and respected figure amongst healthcare professionals in the UK, bringing the nation accessible and reassuring advice directly from the frontline.

Alex is on a mission to make mental health education compulsory in schools, and has become prolific throughout the UK in his campaigning with charities such as YoungMinds, Anna Freud Centre & Mind, witha goal to ensure mental health sits alongside the likes of Maths and English on the curriculum. Alex has now been appointed by the Prime Minister as Youth Mental Health Ambassador to the government.

love island dr alex George tik tok healthy cookbook eating health psychology every size happy mind

Alex is a resident presenter on ITV’s Lorraine, has presented for Watchdog and also appeared on Celebrity Masterchef. Alex is also a fully qualified Level 3 PT.

Find out more about Dr Alex:
Instagram @dralexgeorge
Twitter @dralexgeorge
TikTok @dralexgeorge
YouTube: Dr Alex George

love island dr alex George tik tok healthy cookbook eating health psychology every size happy mind

Signed edition

Mental Health Awareness Week MAY 10-16 2021

Some simple steps to help ourselves look after our Mental Health as we do our Physical Health for example:

  • Drinking 2 litres of water per day
  • Minimum of 15 mins walk per day
  • Fresh air
  • Enjoy the sunshine and its motivational boost
  • Take your lunch break
  • Ensure you see, or speak to, someone each day

Mental Health Awareness week May 10-16 2021

From the Mental Health Foundation (UK) website –

During long months of the pandemic, millions of us turned to nature. Our research on the mental health impacts of the pandemic showed going for walks outside was one of our top coping strategies and 45% of us reported being in green spaces had been vital for our mental health. Websites which showed footage from webcams of wildlife saw hits increase by over 2000%. Wider studies also found that during lockdowns, people not only spent more time in nature but were noticing it more.

It was as if we were re-discovering at our most fragile point our fundamental human need to connect with nature.

Nature and our mental health

Nature is so central to our psychological and emotional health, that it’s almost impossible to realise good mental health for all without a greater connection to the natural world. For most of human history, we lived as part of nature. It is only in the last five generations that so many of us have lived and worked in a context that is largely separated from nature. And it is only since a 1960s study in the US found that patients who were treated in hospitals with a view of nature recovered faster, that science has started to unpack the extraordinary health benefits.

During Mental Health Awareness Week 2021, we will pull together the evidence that demonstrates the powerful benefits of nature for our mental health. We will look at nature’s unique ability to not only bring consolation in times of stress, but also increase our creativity, empathy and a sense of wonder. It turns out that it is not just being in nature but how we open ourselves up and interact with nature that counts. We will show that even small contacts with nature can reduce feelings of social isolation and be effective in protecting our mental health, and preventing distress.

Nature is our great untapped resource for a mentally healthy future.

Despite this, many of us are not accessing or benefitting from nature. Teenagers in particular appear to be less connected with nature and around 13% of UK households have no access to a garden. We want to challenge the disparities in who is and who isn’t able to experience nature. Nature is not a luxury. It is a resource that must be available for everyone to enjoy – as basic as having access to clean water or a safe roof over our heads. Local and national governments need to consider their role in making this a reality for everyone, and we will be talking about how they can do so during the week.

What are the goals for the week?

We have two clear aims. Firstly, to inspire more people to connect with nature in new ways, noticing the impact that this connection can have for their mental health. Secondly, to convince decision makers at all levels that access to and quality of nature is a mental health and social justice issue as well as an environmental one.

2021 is going be a huge year for nature: a new Environment Bill will go through the UK Parliament which will shape the natural world for generations to come; the UK will host the G7 nations where creating a greener future will be a key priority and a historic international UN Climate Change Conference of the Parties (COP26) will be hosted in Glasgow in November.

There could not be a more important time to understand the links between nature and mental health.

What you can do

Stories are the best tools we have to influence change. Unless we can demonstrate nature’s role in bringing solace and joy to our lives, it will remain under-valued and under-utilised.

We want to hear your stories of how nature has supported your mental health. This might be as a simple as tending to a house plant, listening to the birds, touching the bark of trees, smelling flowers or writing a poem about our favourite nature spot.

Whatever it is for you, we invite you to #ConnectWithNature and share what this means for you.

During Mental Health Awareness Week, we are asking you to do three things: 

  • Experience nature: take time to recognise and grow your connection with nature during the week. Take a moment to notice and celebrate nature in your daily life. You might be surprised by what you notice!
  • Share nature: Take a photo, video or sound recording and share the connections you’ve made during the week, to inspire others. Join the discussion on how you’re connecting with nature by using the hashtags #ConnectWithNature #MentalHealthAwarenessWeek
  • Talk about nature: use our tips, school packs, research and policy guides to discuss in your family, school, workplace and community how you can help encourage people to find new ways to connect with nature in your local environment.

For more information about this year’s Mental Health Awareness Week visit mentalhealth.org.uk/mhaw or join the conversation on social media using #ConnectWithNature and #MentalHealthAwarenessWeek 

My experiences…

I have given much thought about whether to post publically about my anxiety, not something a fiftysomething is overly keen to chat about! This graphic below is one of the best examples of showing what anxiety looks and feels like. You don’t necessarily have all of these feelings and emotions, as everyone gets anxious at times. The difference for me and many others is that we can’t stop thinking about scenarios in our heads, worrying about what people will think and say about what we will say and do.

‘Second guessing’ is one of my personal habits that is annoying to me, yet I find it very difficult not to. I am more than often trying to say or do what the person I am interacting with hopes I will say or do. It gets very tiring mentally and you never really switch off. However, four things have helped me greatly…my loving wife & family who understand my anxiety; music as it helps distract and focus my mind away from running through endless scenarios and worries; Cognitive Behaviour Therapy (CBT) techniques to help when I for example feel a panic attack coming on; and finally nature and the great outdoors.

The latter I enjoy simply by walks, observing the changing wildlife and flora or just by pottering about in the garden. Even in a city you can seek out nature, be it by a walk around a nearby park, looking out for bird life and wildlife near to you, looking at any trees local to you – tree hugging optional 😉 You can reach out to people and the biggest step is asking for some help or even recognising you need to tackle your mental health.

One of the last great taboos in our society is mental health and it doesn’t have to be. Join in this year’s Mental Health Awareness week and find out more here

Nordoff Robbins news April 2021

Introducing episode 2/10 of ‘We Are Listening’

The second episode from We Are Listening, ‘Expression of Music’ is Studio Moross’ interpretation of music therapy through typography and graphic design. They have taken core beliefs used by Nordoff Robbins music therapists such as ‘We Are Listening’, ‘Faith in Music’ and ‘Music for Good’.Click here to see episode two of We Are Listening

Nordoff Robbins Music Therapy Summer School 2021

For a second year running, our international summer school for music therapists will be held online between 19 – 22 July 2021. It includes workshops in musical techniques, sharing music therapy work and seminars discussing music therapy.Click here to find out more about our Summer School

SSE charity raffle for Nordoff Robbins

SSE are running a charity raffle with all proceeds going to Nordoff Robbins. There are some brilliant prizes up for grabs, including VIP packages to the likes of Blondie, Queen and Adam Lambert, Kaiser Chiefs, a signed Tom Walker guitar and a Roger Waters soundwaves art, plus much more. And tickets are just £5 each.Click here to buy a ticket at the SSE charity raffle

The BRIT Awards 2021

The BRIT Awards 2021 will be one of the first major indoor music events to celebrate the return to live music, with a special audience of invited key workers. It will take place on 11 May at The O2 arena in London, and to be broadcast live on ITV.Click here to read more about the BRIT Awards 2021

Musical resources for your home

We want to add musical value to your life, which is why we’ve created a suite of musical resources for you, your family or friends which are  inclusive and accessible to all. If you’d like to learn an instrument we also have our Accessible Music Learning available.
Learn about our musical resourcesAs a charity we receive no government funding, so we rely on the generosity and support of people like you, our supporters. Here are a few ways you can help Nordoff Robbins and the people we help.

Book review – Get Your Head In The Game by Dominic Stevenson


Despite timely and important books like this one, mental health is still a taboo in many football clubs as the author himself discovered when trying to interview players for his book.

Containing insightful and at times entertaining (football fanatic and bestselling crime writer Val McDernaid gives a wonderfully entertaining interview), the book is a must read for any football fan and anyone interested in mental health and well being ie all of us hopefully.

Plenty of footballers past and present open up and give their personal experiences including Chris Kirkland, Sam Hutchinson and the Secret Footballer.

The final part of the book gives some useful, practical tips on improving your mental health, many tieing in with attending football as a supporter.

Timely and easily accessible this book goes a long way to opening up the discussions on mental health and general well-being in football, from both the players and fans perspectives.

The idea is to have a whole host of gigs/events mention via their social media posts the work of the Nordoff Robbins charity on and around the 8 February each year

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