Singing for rehabilitation
As lifelong musicians, we have always known the huge benefits that singing can have for individuals and for groups. In creating on:song we developed a brand and a framework in which to share these benefits with the people we identified as most in need, the people in the modern workplace. In developing the brand we have conducted a lot of research, both academic and practically through our own sessions, into how singing can act as a kind of therapy, and can make real tangible differences to peoples lives.
In aiming to monitor the impact our work is having, we regular conduct surveys with our choir participants, assess data shared with us from HR departments, and collect anecdotal evidence from those participating week by week. In doing so we are aiming to build a strong case for singing as a tool for social prescription.
Sometimes in our work we come across a story that somewhat stops us in our tracks. A couple of weeks ago we learnt of one such story, from a member of our Lloyds Banking Group Tune In choir in West Yorkshire which is written in full below.
“I had an accident on the 11th May where I received Severe Concussion. Unfortunately for me this turned into Post Traumatic concussion – the result was a bruise grew at the base of my skull and instead of growing outside my skull it grew inside and depressed my brain. This unfortunately gave me the symptoms of a mini stroke, affecting my balance speech, mobility and confidence. Through attending Tune In and singing on a weekly basis I have grown in confidence; and by practicing body percussion I have improved my coordination and stance, and my dizziness has also improved. I am grateful that my line manager has fully supported me on this journey and my Wednesday visits give me something to look forward to every week. Thank you!”
It is incredibly encouraging to see first hand the direct effect that participation in the weekly choir is having on their physical and psychological rehabilitation. But equally, the recognition here from not only their line manager but the Group Access Chairman, is incredibly important, and show a forward thinking approach to employee mental health and wellbeing. Lloyds Banking Group are at the forefront of the revolution towards awareness of of these important issues in the workplace, but sadly not all are similarly progressive. Cultural change towards longitudinal integration of such policies and awareness is happening, but we see evidence time and again in this conversation how the cultural integration must continue to be supported at the highest level for progressive change to be genuinely lasting and effective.