New project launched to explore the benefits of music on mental health
Following a successful pilot last year, a brand-new project is being launched in Wales to explore music and its impact on mental health.
Calonnau Cerddorol is funded by Arts Council of Wales’ Mental Health and Wellbeing Programme, and will be delivered by Community Music Wales, Tŷ Canna, Hergest Unit Ysbyty Gwynedd and Hafod Community Mental Health Team, who were all involved in last year’s successful pilot programme.
The new project will investigate the use of music in the process of recovery through performance, songwriting and collaboration and will provide workshops, one-to-one support and activities for people experiencing mental health issues.
“The workshops were so successful, the team at Tŷ Canna initially extended the project using their own funds,” CMW Director, Hannah Jenkins said.
“Now, it really is amazing that we have since secured funding to make the project more long-term. It’s something participants can depend upon week after week, and it will help nurture them creatively and support them in reaching their potential.”
Organisers say the scheme aims to increase people’s confidence; help them set positive and achievable goals and develop wider community cohesion.
The project will also expand boundaries and safe spaces by encouraging participants to build strong relationships, work together to create and perform songs about personal issues, produce performances for the elderly in their local area and collaboratively record their own music. All supported by a trained music practitioner, with music that is 100% participant led.
Last year’s pilot was greeted with overwhelmingly positive feedback and saw attendances grow despite the impact of the Covid pandemic. One participant in last years sessions said, “I love feeling part of a group, plus the singing makes me feel that I can do something which helps my confidence. Singing in a group is very therapeutic. I always feel better afterwards.”
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