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Nemi's Viewpoint: Transform Seminar Review

Posted on 23 May 2014

On Thursday the 22nd of May, a ‘Transform’ seminar was held in the Barbour room at Sage Gateshead. There was a presentation given about the correlation between an improvement in academic achievement and improved singing ability as a result of a program that was held for young children, titled: the new London Orchestra’s literacy through music program.

Studies showed that after 20 weeks of this program, children were more advanced in their singing. From the presentation, it was also shown that children with improvements in their singing abilities improved in other social aspects. Furthermore, Singing in a choir rehearsal is equivalent to a reduction in cortisol (a stress hormone). I find this to be valid, because as a former chorister, I often felt relief from stress after singing sessions. From this relief, I felt more relaxed which enabled people to feel more comfortable around me, hence improving my social relationships.

The presentation further informed on a software which was created to enable children to compose music. A study showed that one child, who suffered from ADHD showed reduced symptoms of this ailment due to his increased engagement with the musical software.

At the end of the presentation, everyone split into 5 groups for a 45 minute discussion. Some of the topics discussed were: the significance of social workers and teachers in the lives of students, as well as some differences in the educational systems in Brazil and England. Further discussions also brushed upon: improving trust relationships between the student and the social worker/teacher, to increase the functionality and progress in academic organizations and learning environments.

After the discussions were held, each group gave a short presentation of their findings before the session came to an inevitable end. It was interesting to learn how music can improve the lives of children, and how teachers and social/workers play a part in child development and welfare. Hearing first hand accounts from the professionals in the room was an enlightening experience.

Here is a link to ‘the International music education research centre website.

It is a fascinating research, and I urge everyone to have a look because it may be a life changing experience, and like the domino effect, awareness of the healing in music can spread.

About the blogger

Hi I am Nemi, a postgraduate student at Durham University. I am currently working with the British council Transform volunteer program. It is a program which promotes cultural exchange and encourages creativity. I lived in Brazil for a few months volunteering and learning Portuguese last year so this program gives me an opportunity to practice my language skills.

I am also very much interested in the arts and events management, something this program also encompasses.

I plan to actively participate in all aspects of this program which I discovered through the Durham University career website. I instantly applied for it, and was pleasantly surprised to be selected! I hope to pick up various skills on the job as well as improve on other aspects.

I am currently pursuing a career in events management and volunteer/internships like this are valuable in gaining the required work experience for the events industry. This program promises to be an amazing one so stay tuned for updates on what we get up to!

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