Using the Arts to Motivate and Enthuse
The changes enforced by the Coronavirus pandemic have never been encountered before in our life time. Enforced isolation is difficult and as a result many people may struggle. The arts can be a very effective, easy and cheap way of distracting yourself. The virus might be keeping people apart; music is bringing them together.
Mr Garner has set up an account on Charanga for the Guitar students to log into each week. Lessons and resources will be uploaded each week for the students to have a go at to ensure that they can still continuing progressing on their instruments whilst schools are closed.
Our aim over the coming weeks/months is to work with schools to ensure that music is still accessible whilst the students are at home.
We are putting up a song each evening with a mindfulness activity to do with the family throughout this time and also launching a concert series every Friday evening where you can see a selection of our tutors and students performing.
Also if you want to share what they have been practicing we would love to see! You can tag us in on Twitter @sthelensmusic or Facebook @sthelensmusicservice, The tutors can then also have a listen and comment too!
All around us, the world is changing and we're all adapting to new challenges. With so many children and young people now staying at home, we want to ensure that they are still able to experience the benefits of singing.
Music and singing are incredibly powerful, and can help support us in so many ways – emotionally, physically and intellectually. The benefits are endless, and supporting singing is central to our philosophy at Sing Up.
All you need for
At Tuition we recognise that many children who may struggle in a mainstream environment are able to express themselves through a more holistic approach to education. Music and art give pupils who may struggle to communicate the opportunity to flourish in a safe and creative environment. We support this approach to build self-esteem through a variety of different of extra curricular activities that have seen pupils produce some outstanding pieces of work.
The Evolution of Mind
This sculpture represents the stages of mental health from feelings of desperation to joy and hope for the future. The idea comes from the images connected to the evolution of man. Students collectively made the decisions as what form these sculptures would take to portray the feelings and moods that mental health can bring.
However we also acknowledged that people often display behaviours and body language that masks true feelings. These figures display emotions that some people would never dream of displaying in public due to fears about the stigma of depression and anxiety. Rarely do we display feelings of vulnerability so we wanted this sculpture to convey those feelings of loneliness, and isolation that may be felt. The message that there is always hope and a way forward is one we wish people to take away from this powerful sculpture.
The Window of Life
The piece represents the uncertain, unsure world of mental health.
Having no direction, purpose, feeling lost within a crazy unpredictable world.
Through the window of life the world can look bleak, uneasy and haunting.
But the world was made better by the coming together through the making of the art, hence the cast of two hands together towards the bottom.
Mental Wellness Bag
This project was set up to promote positive Mental Health in St Helens beginning on World Mental Health Day (10th October)
The idea is that shops, café’s and restaurants will display these bags and offer customers a chance to take a card. Each bag contains a laminated card showing a positive message. It is the decision of the receiver if they keep the card or pass it on to someone else who could appreciate it.
Too often when the subject of mental health arises, it’s in a negative context. Maybe if we could be more open with each other and discuss positive mental health as well as poor mental health, we can prevent serious issues arising. On the 10th October, we plan to release balloons into the sky with positive messages attached to see if this message can be received further than St Helens. We can use this as an opportunity to reflect on the positive in our lives.
The Vanessa Project
The Vanessa Project was created to highlight the pressure on men and women (particularly women) to look and feel a certain way about their bodies. (In the UK in 2015, 91% of all cosmetic procedures were carried out on women. See below for the breakdown of those procedures.) The diet industry is worth billions and we are constantly being drip fed how to feel about the way we look. The words 'fat' and 'diet' have such negative connotations yet we are brainwashed into thinking we are overweight if we don't vaguely compare to a photo shopped celebrity or undernourished catwalk model.
Vanessa is way below average in terms of body measurements. People just don't look that shape. We are all individuals and a massive part of our physical make up is genetic. So, why are we being sold this ‘one size fits all’ image and anything that doesn’t conform prompts fad diets, cosmetic procedures and a whole wealth of other ridiculous expectations that if we function like humans we cannot meet. (In the USA 10 Billion Dollars was spent on cosmetic procedures in 2009)
What impact is this having on self-esteem and our overall self-worth? Mental health issues linked to body image are on the rise. Had anyone heard of body dysmorphia 5/10 years ago? Could you walk into your hairdressers and request Botox to eliminate a few wrinkles that only you really notice or care about? I bet every one of us knows of someone who has tried to manage their weight with laxatives or starving themselves drinking some expensive and foul tasting shake. Or maybe it's you who has such dissatisfaction with your own body shape so you have at some point embarked on the C9 or 5/2 diet in a bid to combat those extra pounds.
Ask yourselves, what are we doing to ourselves and future generations? We need to get out of this mind set and start thinking differently. Healthy is rarely focused on and what does it mean now anyway? I know someone who drinks Diet Coke because they think it's a healthy option!!! Can you be a size 14/16 and healthy? That depends on how brainwashed you are I guess.
Hopefully Vanessa highlights the pressure the media put us under with their articles on body image. On mass, it's horrifying to see all those subliminal messages in one place on a fake body that represents no one I know. “You should have used a plus size mannequin” I've been told. No, because it doesn't make the point of what we are being told to look like and more to the point......you try finding one.......
Music lessons are available to all pupils after school. The pupils will work with a professional guitar tutor to develop existing skills or learn brand new ones. Pupils are encouraged to link with St Helens Music Service and join a band with their peers which leads to playing together and eventually performing on stage in front of an audience.
"Guitar is a good thing as it helps me interact with other people and work on things I don’t know. Also it helps me forget about everything around me. The teacher Joe is a good person as he helps me play the guitar and learn new things."