Music for Health and Wellbeing
Health and wellbeing is a hot topic. So many problems, and many suggestions for solutions, but how do we attain and maintain a healthy daily balance between life and health?
Today, I joined a school in the West of Sydney to talk about music therapy at their health and wellness conference. The main focus was to offer the staff ways to combat daily stress, and to give ideas for ways to improve wellbeing in the classroom for students and teachers. Counselling services are one thing, empowering teachers to use techniques in their day to easy some of the stress and re-focus engagement in the class room is another.
Mindfulness is more common now, with apps such as Headspace and ... and these are fantastic ways to harness energy and slow down pace. I wanted to add music into the mix, and break down these moments even more so they can be used in the classroom.
Some of the techniques I demonstrated were therapeutic drumming (Rhythm2recovery are an awesome resource for drumming exercises if you want to know more) and group singing with partner support and an empowering message, both of which have been proven to promote health, strengthen communication and increase social bonds.
After the presentation and music session, the staff attending the conference wrote comments about new approaches to implementing music in the classroom.
Comments from staff included :
"Multi-sensory approach to learning literacy skills"
"Music to focus".
In an age where technology and phones are stealing focus, attention and engagement, there is a large need for activities which are motivating and fun to aid the facilitation of learning.
Is meeting adolescents with technology the answer?
I guess too much technology, like anything, is detrimental to health and therefore a mixed approach to learning is appropriate for adolescents, learning social skills, focus and attention. This is why today's session focused on the live music making. 5-15 minute snippets of technology free music making to clear the mind and to regain focus to be used at any time in the school day.
These grounding moments will not only help kids, but their teachers too and hopefully cut through the modern distractions and daily worries to make some real change within the individual.
I think music is a completely accessible and motivating platform for re-focusing and discovering new ways to learn, in and out of school. Entrainment is a powerful thing and I look forward to exploring this concept further in the future.
They were so kind to pass me a bag of 'wellness' gifts, including a glass jar of loose leaf tea, a shark tea brewer and positive messages, including this... 50 ways to take a break. A lovely reminder that a break only needs to be quick, but the process of taking a break can have a huge impact on stress levels and the outcome of your day.