Free recording studio sessions boost City of London mental health


City residents and workers whose mental health has been affected by the pandemic are being offered free recording studio sessions and music industry mentoring to boost wellbeing.

Thanks to a culture grant from the City of London, local mental health and music charity Key Changes is providing songwriting, production and performance opportunities for people who may be feeling lonely or isolated, or experiencing depression or anxiety, as a result of COVID-19.

Budding musicians will be paired up with a professional producer specially trained to support mental wellbeing. Participants will be encouraged and facilitated to write and record original music at Key Changes’ EC1 studio.

There’s access to regular open mic events and Progression Sessions at the Barbican Centre to learn about the music industry, meet experts, and prepare finished recordings for release on the charity’s award-winning record label.

All sessions take place in COVID-safe venues that are risk-assessed in line with government guidelines.

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The programme aims to provide a feelgood factor through developing new skills, improving confidence and self-esteem, and enabling participants to foster hope for the future, feel more connected and in control of their mental wellbeing.

Key Changes CEO Peter Leigh said: “This exciting programme for people in the City of London affected by the pandemic offers an opportunity to develop an identity as a musical artist and a new way of knowing yourself. You’ll build resilience, feel freer from the limitations of your mental health and more aware of your true potential.”

Key Changes Volunteer and Guildhall student Rosie Webb says: “I find music healing as I can express how I am feeling. It also provides an outlet for times that I feel low.

No matter what type of mood I am in there is always a piece of music that captures my emotions.”

Key Changes’ music industry recovery programmes in hospitals and the community support 3,000 musicians a year experiencing conditions including depression, anxiety, PTSD, bipolar disorder, and schizophrenia.

The charity was a finalist in the 2021 Civic Arts Award which recognises the work of organisations who have “boldly reimagined their missions to put their communities first during the pandemic.”

For more info contact Key Changes on 0330 174 1989 or [email protected]

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