Boosting Emotional Wellbeing through Music
Since late January the Yew Chung international School of Beijing Community has been diligently adjusting to the “new normal” which has been online teaching. This method has seen different subject teachers become inventive and use their experiences and resources to teach and somewhat bring normalcy to their lessons for their students.
Mr Gordon Robb, Primary School Music Teacher is one such teacher. “I have deliberately tried to include written worksheets and projects, printed music to learn, and videos to sing or play alongside.” said the multi-instrumentalist who has been with YCIS Beijing since last summer. His students are familiar with the incorporation of the above-mentioned resources as he has used them in class prior to the online learning process.
A benefit to availing resources online according to Mr Robb is that “students and parents are able to access the variety of lessons, videos, and instructional guides to help feed their passion for music, listening, playing and creating.”. The resources online have provided an opportunity for parents to become highly involved in their children’s music lessons, something that may not be the case during “regular” schooling time. This is also a fantastic way for parents to note their children’s passions and what they excel in.
Being the best requires commitment and passion, but the most hands-on approach is to practice according to Mr Robb. He advises that “students can video their performances and upload them or simply send an email [for me] to give feedback on progress or ask for further guidance.”
He also adds that initiatives such as The YCIS Young Musician Competition are a great motivation for students to hone their skills. Not only that, but they also stay connected to the music through daily practice. Music also serves as a therapeutic method, especially during what has become a distressing time for many around the world.
“It is important to remember that music is both a medicine for the mind and food for the soul.” Mr Robb states. Therefore he encourages us all to “sing along to your favourite songs. It gives us a massive boost emotionally and physically, while also giving us some control over our feelings and emotions.”. Other beneficial traits of music he shared with us are that;
- Practising an instrument is an excellent way of expressing ourselves, engaging with a creative process and challenging our brains through problem solving.
- Dancing to music is a real boost to the emotional wellbeing. The enjoyment of listening and physically moving and responding is pure medicine.
Although not in the classroom to have face to face interactions with his students where he can demonstrations for them , Mr Robb has fully embraced technology with all its perks.
Before following his own advice by listening to 1980’s Hip Hop in his kitchen he reminds us that the best thing in life are free. “I heard a doctor say that whilst 5-a-day of fruit and veg is very good advice, 5 smiles a-day is just as important to help keep us healthy and happy.".