“Music expresses that which cannot be said and on which it is impossible to be silent.” – Victor Hugo
“Where words fail, music speaks.” – Hans Christian Andersen
“Music can change the world because it can change people.” – Bono
I once read that Charles Darwin stated that “If I had my life to live over again, I would have made a rule to read some poetry and listen to some music at least once every week.” What would the world be like without the joy of the Arts or literature? Regardless of the genre, I believe that we all enjoy listening to music or reading books/poetry. Why?
There are many benefits of music that have been identified through scientific research. According to the Royal Conservatory, in the publication “The Benefits of Music Education” – An Overview of the Neuroscience, Music Education is a powerful tool for attaining children’s full intellectual, social and creative potential. In particular, it is claimed that Music Education “speeds the development of speech and reading skills, trains children to focus their attention for sustained periods of time, and helps children gain a sense of empathy for others”. This is further reinforced by Daniel Levitin who claims that “Musical activity involves nearly every region of the brain that we know about, and nearly every neural subsystem.”
Despite these clear benefits, music can take us back to a time in our life that holds special significance to us and can simply bring about much joy. It can provide a release from the stresses and pressure of everyday life and help us to relax, clear our heads and think clearly. I know I have my favourite collection of songs to listen to when I am tired and just need to ‘go to my happy place’.
Last week, our College had such an opportunity with nearly 340 students involved in the stage musical “The Sound of Music”, and what a stunning performance it was. The costumes, the music, the acting, the dancing and the singing were simply stunning and quite unforgettable. Each year, we are gifted by the most amazing musicals, but this show would not been out of place if it had been performed at QPAC. This performance was truly outstanding.
The effort from staff, students and parents was amazing and to think that almost a quarter of all our students were involved is highly commendable and quite astonishing. To all involved, and on behalf of all in our community – thank you and well done.
Music can take us almost anywhere. It is important in our fast-paced lives that we can ‘take a break’ and be a little more mindful of our own well-being (mums and dads too). As part of Mental Health Week, our College community acknowledged the importance of mental health and wellbeing by getting active, and dancing away the afternoon together, doing both the Twist and the Nutbush – the evidence is on Facebook (and very much worth a look!)
Whilst we were fortunate to break the Australian record for the most people dancing The Twist, this was secondary to our aim of starting a conversation about making mental health a priority, reducing the stigma and encourage help seeking and self-care.
The afternoon was filled with excitement, fun and community. The Australian Record is wonderful; however, the College spirit was priceless. With TV coverage on both 7 and 9 News, as well as a page 2 story in the Gold Coast Bulletin, we certainly achieved our goal of starting a conversation about mental health.
It prides me yet again to highlight what a supportive, connected community we are so fortunate to belong to here at A.B. Paterson College.
I would like to thank our staff, students and parents for getting involved, in addition to our many guests on the day who decided to use this opportunity to talk about mental health and get involved. Thanks to our local Police Officers, Alders and GMP Project Management.
I would like to offer a very special thanks to Ms Toni Kirton, Director of Positive Education and Leadership who provided this opportunity for us to have this conversation and for demonstrating the importance of openly talking about mental health.
“What we achieve inwardly will change outer reality.” – Plutarch