A unique day of workshops and discussions around brass and health with leading musicians, researchers and medical professionals offering advice and information to brass players and anyone with an interest in music and health. Drop in to whichever session you wish or stay for the whole day.
10.00am BRASS gets physical
Playing a brass instrument is a complex physical and mental challenge! Unfortunately, many musicians find that they experience discomfort, pain and tension whilst playing or that they struggle to reach their full potential.
Professional musician and Alexander Technique teacher, Peter Robinson specialises in working with musicians. Inspired by the way in which Alexander Technique helped him to recover from injury and improve the way that he performs, Peter is keen to pass on his knowledge and experience to other musicians.
During this lecture/workshop Peter will show how Alexander technique can help to prevent and recover from injuries, improve ease, fluency and enjoyment of making music, improve speed of learning and help deal with anxiety such as stage fright
12.00pm Adaptive Brass
Physical disability should not be a barrier to musical performance. There have been significant strides in recent years in the development and adaptation of musical instruments for people who are physically disabled including brass musicians.
Rachel Wolffsohn is General Manager of OHMI, a national organisation dedicated to removing the barriers to music making faced by physically disabled people.
Clarence Adoo is a greatly respected brass musician who played for Northern Sinfonia until a car accident left him paralysed from the shoulders downward. Despite life-changing injuries, Clarence has not let circumstances hold him back, building an impressive alternative music career. He was central to the development of computer-based musical instrument, the HiNote which has allowed Clarence to become actively involved in music-making again.
2.00pm The BRASS breathing guide
Gordon Campbell is one of the UK’s finest trombonists. He is lead trombone for the John Wilson Orchestra and the BBC Big Band. Through this workshop and with the help of volunteers, Gordon will describe his approach to breathing that all-important and much discussed topic for any brass musician.
4.00pm Bands and mental wellbeing
There is an increasing body of research to show that group music-making has profound benefits for our mental well-being. From reducing levels of anxiety and depression to improved confidence and creating a sense of belonging. We have three guest speakers that will help us explore the way in which belonging to a brass band can affect mental well-being.
Brass band musician Tabby Kerwin has published an acclaimed book – The Three Ps: Possibility, Productivity & Performance which is aimed at helping people who just happen to play in brass bands, with their mental wellbeing. Her presentation will focus on the current state of mental health in brass bands from a recent survey, plus recommended steps to implement more awareness, information, support and provision for mental health in the brass band movement supporting her belief that a focus on mental wellbeing in brass bands could help retain, encourage and support more players.
Liesbeth Tip from the University of Edinburgh created HarmonyChoir as a research project to measure the effects of being in a choir on mental health. She will share her experiences of this fascinating project that sought to to bring people from different mental health backgrounds together, raise awareness of mental health in general, and change negative stereotypes about mental illl health.
Michael Bonshor of the University of Sheffield has co-authored an important new study on Wellbeing in Brass Bands: The Benefits and Challenges of Group Music Making. As well as recognising the areas of physical, psychological, and social wellbeing that brass band membership shares with other forms of music-making, the study also identified wellbeing themes that are more pertinent to band membership such as physical demands, competitive tradition, community roles, and cross-generational social structures.
10.00am – 5.30pm, Durham University, Elvet Riverside (opposite the Three Tuns Hotel)