the session line-up
This session will explore how creativity can improve our mental health.
During times of isolation many of us have sought refuge and inspiration in creativity both in art and music.
Priya graduated from the University of Sussex in 2014 with a BA(Hons) in Music, and is a newly qualified music therapist recently graduated from the Guildhall School of Music & Drama.
Priya has experience working in the NHS with adults and children with an array of complex needs, including mental health difficulties, ASD, learning difficulties and disabilities.
Priya also works as a piano and flute teacher, teaches performing arts in a SEN school, as well as working as an aerial fitness instructor.
Carla joins us from Key Changes - a charity that provides music engagement and recovery services in hospitals and the community, for people affected by mental health problems. Having worked with Key Changes since April 2019 as Programme Coordinator, Carla predominantly manages the charity's community based services, which include their Music Industry Recovery and Studio Discovery Programmes, as well as identifying and supporting service users to join the Young Music Leaders Volunteer programme.
Carla has always had a passion for supporting vulnerable hard to reach people with complex needs, to improve their quality of life through the activities they most enjoy (such as music, art, exercise, sport). She has previously worked in service delivery as an exercise therapist in secondary mental health care settings, in mental health research, and in other voluntary sector organisations that exist to reduce loneliness and isolation, and to improve the wellbeing of people in local communities.
Carla also comes from a musical background having studied commercial music at Bath Spa University, she has performed around Europe as a singer and musician, and has assisted music therapy work in various settings in the UK and oversees with her father who is also a singer, composer and music therapist.
Founder, Perspective Project
Mark Anscombe is the Founder of Perspective Project, and Co-Founder of How Mental. Mark has been working or volunteering in mental health since 2013, with a focus on supporting individuals to be open about mental health, and tackle the mental health crisis through innovative practices. Perspective Project is a charity using creativity to tackle mental health stigma, supporting artists with mental health conditions. Perspective Project runs exhibitions, workshops, open-mic nights and pop-up events all with the aim of increasing understanding of mental health, and giving people a validatory platform to share their perspective on mental health.
Poetic Justice is the artist name of the rapper / singer Roland Laurence.
He was first influenced by classic hiphop like Biggie and Tupac but his relationship with certain types of music has changed, saying “I used to like to listen to it all the time, but it’s not always what I am in the mood for now. As I grow as a person, and try and be more spiritual, it’s not always the right music.”
Poetic Justice only started seriously writing music around 4-5 years ago. “Before I was just dabbling, but since joining Key Changes it has been pretty consistent.”
His music is influenced by music, life, art and food “Anything I come into contact with can be inspiration for a song”, he says.
He credits Key Changes with assisting him in his mental health recovery, saying “It helped me to believe in myself again. I could never really seem to get started with my music before, so it has helped me be more productive.”
“I have learnt to enjoy the music and have fun with it”, says Poetic Justice, “And the community aspect of it – just hanging out – has really changed my life for the better.”
Martin Lawes has been practicing as a music therapist for over 20 years, working in adult mental health, special needs education and palliative care. Martin is a specialist in Guided Imagery and Music (GIM) and founder and director of the Integrative GIM training programme (www.integrativegim.org). He regularly presents about his work and research both nationally and internationally and is published in a number of music therapy journals. Martin recently created a Guided Imagery and Music (GIM) self-help resource for those suffering from mild to moderate COVID-19 which is available online in 7 languages (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ssKIjeGY_Lg&list=PL3RSWJ60NEQAGklk01eK9pYK9hbB9PJ9V)
The British Association for Music Therapy (BAMT) is the professional body for music therapy in the UK. It is also a charity committed to promoting and raising awareness of music therapy.