Did you catch Australia Story about 3 weeks ago?
It profiled Jenny Morris ( remember her from the late '80's early 90's?)
A great fun female musician. She was profiled because she wanted to bring awareness to a particular disorder that can affect people, where they start to get spasms in their voicebox, with affects their speaking and singing voice. It is very sad if singing is what you do, as you can no longer sing to the standards ( or at all) that you have done in the past. So effectively her career as a professional singer ended in 2005.
The episode was great, and if you can catch it on iView, I recommend you do.
However this good on the ground post is to highlight the charity work that she does. She is very active still in music, being on the board of APRA, but I was particularly interested in what she actually does for Nordoff Robbins.
Heard of them?
I imagine not.
They are a registered charity that specifically works in the music therapy area.
What is music therapy?
Well, music has been known to provide a number of brain based benefits for people. We enjoy it, it helps children learn - but if we just look at what it does to the brain, here is a definition.
According to the American Music Therapy Association...
“Music Therapy is the clinical and evidence-based use of music interventions to accomplish individualized goals within a therapeutic relationship by a credentialed professional who has completed an approved music therapy program.”
Why is it so effective? Well this article lists 12 reasons as to why music is so amazing - http://blog.brainhq.com/2010/04/22/top-12-brain-based-reasons-why-music-as-therapy-works/
But it is the Nordoff-Robbins group in Australia that works specifically with children or adults ( but mainly children) to build their full potential as a human being in spite of their physical or mental challenges.
It build neural pathways in the brain, it enhances learning, it helps with speech ( because it uses the same area of the brain that is part of speech), it helps us relax and helps our muscles move due to our inate responses to music. We cannot help to move!
And it is enjoyable. Music just makes people happy..
All reasons why it is my Good on the Ground feature for this month.
Jenny Morris has raised in excess of $1 million dollars for this charity.
What a lovely way to give back to something she loves and just knows as fact the huge benefits of music in anyone's life. Even though she can no longer perform (which must be a huge point of sadness for her) she can and does contribute an enormous amount of her time, both as a volunteer and also as a key fundraiser for them to keep their programs running.
I see what music has brought to my children's lives.
I see it in what our local Conservatorium does each and every day with students, young and old. Music brings huge joy to many people. It is not about how good you are, it is always about how you feel when you play, how others feel when they listen. It is not about being the best, it is not about hours of practice, it is about that feeling when you take time to listen, when you loose yourself in a piece, when you sing along to a tune.
It is the sheer joy of rhythm and melody, of memories and of fun.
I hope you enjoy music in your life whenever you can.
The charity that Jenny Morris supports is this one - Nordoff Robbins.
You might what to help them out here!