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
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
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
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.
As national lockdown restrictions are starting to be relaxed, we’re assessing what this means for our charity and our mission to provide music therapy, train the music therapists of tomorrow and carry out research within music therapy.
Over the last few months, we’ve been developing online and virtual approaches to music therapy so we could continue to support people through music. This will be continuing until at least September as it is still not safe enough to provide face to face music therapy sessions at our centres around the UK. However, we are slowly starting to return to working in organisations like care homes, mental health units, and schools. We hope this will continue to increase in the coming months.
Our education provision has finished for the summer but when the new academic year begins in September our aim is to be able to restart our Master of Music Therapy and PHD programmes with some face to face tuition alongside the online teaching we’ve put in place. We continue to pause our music therapy research work while our focus is on getting our music therapy provision and education back up and running.
We’ll continue to monitor the situation and respond to what people need from us at this moment in time so we can make the most positive impact with music possible. “The Mountbatten choir has helped me so much”– Sue’s Story
The Mountbatten Hospice community choir is run by Nordoff Robbins music therapist, Fraser Simpson. It is made up of around 80 people who used to meet every Wednesday in the hospice’s day centre, but it has now moved online since lockdown. Sue joined the choir in January 2017 not long after it was first started. She joined after her husband passed away, who had been cared for by the Mountbatten Hospice teams. Below we hear from Sue about how the choir has helped her and how it has adapted since lockdown.
“The Bereavement officer in Mountbatten Hospice mentioned to me that the Mountbatten choir was open to everyone, should I like to join.
The choir has helped me so much since my first attendance in January 2017 following my bereavement. I have attended nearly every Wednesday evening since then and it has become a very important part of my life.
Fraser, who runs the Mountbatten choir, has such a unique and special way of welcoming us, and despite the fact that the choir has grown enormously since it started, he always has time for each one of us in a very individual and caring way.
It is a wonderful thing to be able to look forward to each week. To know that there is no pressure and that I will be with people who have been through or experienced similar situations to myself, with who there is an immediate bond. I have made many friends, which has been invaluable in building my new way of life alone.
When ‘lockdown’ occurred, Fraser and Mountbatten were able to assist the choir members who wanted to carry on attending the choir and continue to sing online through ‘Zoom’.
This has been an exciting new challenge and I am so pleased that I have been able to achieve this, using new skills acquired and being able to continue to enjoy singing at this particularly difficult time of lockdown and the feeling of isolation.
It has assisted me in so many ways and I am absolutely sure it has helped my health and well-being enormously over the past three years – all due to Fraser and Mountbatten, to whom I remain indebted.” Watch the Mountbatter Choir perform before lockdown through Joy’s storyMusical Conversations We’ve always wanted to help people access the benefits of music, especially during these challenging times.
This is why we’re introducing Musical Conversations from our music services team. They give you the opportunity to talk about music with one of our music therapists – who are all musicians and understand the importance of music in everyday life.
We hope it will be an opportunity to share musical interests and to think together about how music can help in coping with the demands of everyday life.
Unlike counselling or psychotherapy, the conversations won’t address specific personal problems or delve into a person’s psyche. Rather we hope it will enable people to focus on the potential benefits of music, listening to music and making music in the contexts of their own lives.
If you think that you or someone you know would benefit from having a conversation about music on the phone with one of our therapists, complete the registration form using the button below and someone will be in touch soon. Register your interestNew Singalong Videos To Help You Stay Connected
We’ve got three brand new Singalong videos for you to join in with.
We know lockdown may be easing, but that doesn’t mean we should all stop using music to connect. With the aptly timed We’re Walking on Sunshine (depending where you are of course), Lean on Me, and Stand By Me, there are three classic songs to sing to and make music with our music therapists. Get involved and sing todayNordoff Robbins Music Quiz More than 465 perople came together in 93 teams from across the music industry to take part in the hotly contested inaugural Nordoff Robbins Online Music Quiz earlier this month. The event not only brought together people from across the music industry, got colleagues and friends in the same (virtual) room and tested some serious music knowledge, but it also raised £6,000 for Nordoff Robbins, helping us to carry on providing music therapy and to safeguard the future of our charity.
A big thanks to our partners at Bose, Bulldog and Sporcle for helping us make it happen. After four very close heats and one tense final, a big well done to our winning team from IMG Golf.
After such success, we’ll be looking at rolling out more quizzes later in the year so watch this space. Virgin Money Online Choir After moving our inclusive community choir online and seeing how it can help with mental health and well-being during the lockdown, we wanted to offer its therapeutic benefits to organisations. We knew it had the possibility of bringing colleagues together and helping mental health and well-being in the workplace.
Virgin Money took us up on our offer and we’ve been working with them for several weeks now to set up and run their first workplace choir for over 50 of their employees.
“I’ve never had any experience of singing with other people, so I was quite nervous. But Emily you were great. I really enjoyed it.”
If your organisation could benefit from a workplace choir get in touch by replying to this email. If you’d prefer to join our inclusive community online choir sign up button below. It runs every Tuesday from 4pm and is suitable for people of all ages and abilities. Sign up to the choir todaySupergrass perform for Nordoff Robbins and CALM on Friday 21 August Goose Island are giving you the chance to witness the legendary live show of Supergrasswith the band performing at Manchester’s Band On The Wall, playing the festival headline set they wanted to perform for thousands of fans this summer.
Creators of some of the most defining tracks of the last twenty years, Supergrass boast a massive repertoire of hits including ‘Alright,’ ‘Moving’ and ‘Pumping On Your Stereo.’
Click the link below and get your ticket for just £2. All proceeds go to Nordoff Robbins and CALM. Buy a ticket or find out moreMonkey Music Aiming To Raise £20,000 For Nordoff Robbins Monkey Music offer music classes for babies and young children and have supported Nordoff Robbins for many years now. This summer, they’re aiming to raise £20,000 for Nordoff Robbins from their sing and play challenge.
Here’s what they had to say: “We are a large team of Monkey Music families from all over the UK who will sing and play songs during August and September to raise awareness of the importance of singing and playing music in our daily lives for our well-being and mental health. We want to raise awareness about the vital work Nordoff-Robbins music therapists do to enrich the lives of the people they work with.” A Big Thank You To The Worm Club A huge congratulations and thank you to our music industry friends from the likes of Warner, Virgin, SYCO and BMG who dusted off their cycling gear to raise £10,000 for Nordoff Robbins. Members of the ‘The Worm Club’ cycled a total of 300 miles on Friday 24 July to raise as much as possible to support our music therapy work.
Worm Club’s Jeremy Marsh of Warner Music said: “We chose to support Nordoff Robbins, as three of the group have been closely involved in the music business and we’re all touched by the dilemma facing the charity, due to the loss of fundraising events during the Covid crisis” As usual, please let us know if you have any feedback. You can do this by responding to this email.
My brothers and I are doing another Facebook Live / Live Radio Broadcast with Get Ready to Rock! Radio & Get Ready To Rock! Send in your song requests and questions ahead of time, and click the “ticket” link to tune in.
I want to take this opportunity to update you about what has been happening at our music therapy charity, Nordoff Robbins.
Like many other charities, we are being severely impacted by the current Coronavirus outbreak and national lockdown. Given the vulnerable people we work with we have had to temporarily stop all our face-to-face music therapy provision to protect their health and that of our staff. But we know for many of those we support we are a vital lifeline for social connection, mental health and well-being. So we are exploring ways we can provide some form of music therapy remotely online as quickly and safely as possible.
More than ever we are seeing that making music matters; it can unite people and lift spirits in a way few other activities can, helping people connect with themselves. And so we are doing everything we can to respond to the growing need in our communities for ways to help people cope with social isolation and maintain their mental well-being. As well as trying to move our therapy online where appropriate, we’re also developing virtual online choirs and creating digital resources for people to make music together at home, including an exciting collaboration with the children’s TV show, Clangers. You can learn more about these resources below.
However, the rapid shutdown of society has caused massive financial pressure on charities like ours. The situation has forced the cancellation of most of our fundraising activities for the next few months at least, which means we have no income coming in at the moment.
We have joined the rest of the charity sector under the banner #NeverMoreNeeded to campaign for more financial support from the Government to help charities survive this crisis. Anything you can do to add our voice to this will help.
I understand how everyone is juggling so much at the moment, so I’d like to thank you for your continuing support during these times. Keep safe, keep making music and keep connecting.
Kind regards, Sandra Schembri CEO Ways Nordoff Robbins can help you during this timeOn stage at home with The Clangers – We’re excited to announce the launch of our collaboration with children’s TV show, Clangers, called On Stage at Home. We’ve created songs with our music therapists and Clangers to get young children to connect through making music – using homemade instruments, movement, body percussion and voice. Suitable for all abilities, watch the first two videos today.Find out more
Singalongs – Last week we launched Singalong with a bit of rock n roll. This week, we’ve got some exciting Queen for you to give a go. Great for all ages and music lovers, these are songs you can sing to and make music with our music therapists. Find out more Online choir – Our online choir is running every Tuesday at 4pm. Everyone is welcome to join in and find support in music, regardless of experience or ability. If you’d like to get involved or know someone who would, sign up today here.Find out more Other ways you can support Nordoff RobbinsGivergy Prize Draw – We’re hosting an exciting prize draw over the next few weeks. From just £5 a ticket you could win prizes from a signed Johnny Marr pedal, an Arsenal shirt signed by the team and a bundle of Marshall equipment.
Not only will you have the chance to win some great prizes, but by entering, you’ll also help to raise vital funds for us. Every ticket sold from this prize draw will help us safeguard the future of our charity, and crucially, allow us to be there for people who need us most. Enter prize draw United We Stream – People around the world can enjoy Greater Manchester’s art and culture through a new website streaming live music and performances every night, with 8% of funds raised coming to us. Live every night from 7pm, it’s free to access (but with donations welcome). Help spread the world and tell all your friends and family. Find out more Graeme Park lunchtime clubbin’ – Every Friday from noon to 2pm renowned international DJ Graeme Park is streaming live, playing Hacienda Classics and raising money for Nordoff Robbins. His first two sessions have raised over £1000! Tune in every Friday using the button below. Tune in to Lunchtime Clubbin As usual, please let us know if you have any feedback. You can do this by responding to this email.
Stay safe and speak again soon, The Nordoff Robbins team