New College Lanarkshire students working towards a career in health and social care have been learning techniques for promoting positive mental wellbeing – taking part in practical choral workshops with a leading musical director.
Tommy Chambers, Musical and Managing Director at SoundSational Community Music and colleague Gemma McCabe visited the College’s Coatbridge Campus to deliver three choral workshops and discuss the benefits that singing can have on mental health and wellbeing.
Delivering to students from various class groups including Counselling, Social Services and Nursing, the workshops gave students a taster for singing as part of a choir, while giving them a chance to learn new breathing and relaxation techniques.
The groups had the chance to come together and do a mini-performance, including solos from students and lecturers. Access to Counselling student, Stefanie Boyle, was one of the brave soloists, singing former student Lewis Capaldi’s hit single, Someone You Loved.
She said: “The workshop was really useful as in counselling you have to learn and use techniques and coping strategies to help people and I think what we have learned with SoundSational will be really beneficial for that.
“Once I have completed my studies at NCL I hope to become an Educational Psychologist and know that these techniques will come into good use both in my career and in my personal life.”
Tommy started SoundSational, an award-winning community arts organisation, in 2010. The organisation is based across North Lanarkshire, with its HQ in Motherwell. It aims to bring people together through music, creating community cohesion and keeping costs low to make music accessible to all.
As well as developing choirs, developing music programmes in schools and helping people in the community through music, Tommy is a working musician, choral arranger and composer, having worked with the BBC, STV and even on Hugh Jackman’s Greatest Showman Tour.
Lecturer and organiser of the visit Laura Owens, said: “These workshops were a fantastic addition to our classes on stress management and wellbeing as they allowed students the chance to experience first-hand the benefits of singing and think about how they can incorporate this in their future careers.”
“They were organised to give students the opportunity to experience the positive impact, boost their confidence and just generally have fun – which they certainly did. It was great to see them all so involved.
“We are all very inspired and I look forward to continuing to put our new knowledge of singing into practice!”
Tommy and Gemma were presented with a commemorative Quaich and framed print – specially designed by Claire McDonald, Graphic Designer at New College Lanarkshire. The design featured a treble clef filled with words of feedback from the students who completed the session. They were presented the gifts by Principal and CEO of New College Lanarkshire, Professor Christopher Moore.
Tommy said: “SoundSational were delighted to be invited to deliver a series of workshops to the Health and Social Care students at New College Lanarkshire.
“We are passionate about using music to spread positive mental health, particularly in stressful environments, so it was a pleasure to work with such hard working students in our local area.”
New College Lanarkshire offers a range of courses in Health and Social Care and applications are now open. For more information, visit: https://www.nclanarkshire.ac.uk/courses/health-care-and-social-services