CW: Mental Health
As the end of the school year quickly approaches, I am finding myself constantly in concert black. For many of my music school friends and I, the end of a semester is usually a very busy time full of concerts. I have been thinking a lot about one of my most recent concerts (mentioned in a previous blog) and how impactful music can be. The concert was called “People Help The People” and it was a benefit concert for a non-profit organization called The Tribe Projects. We were able to raise a lot of money and educate many audience members, as well as ourselves, about the cause. With this concert coinciding with course selections for my next year at university, I have been thinking long and hard about where I want my music to take me in my future and how I would like to continue to use it in my everyday life.
So far my favourite form of creating music has been through choir. The Nova Scotia Choral Federation has had a huge influence on my life and I honestly think that without participating in their programs, I would not only have chosen music as my career, but I would also not be the person I am today. Since I moved to Canada I have been involved in their choral opportunities and have managed to work my way through their different groups as I aged. When I was in a choir called Soundtrax, I was told by the conductor to audition for the Nova Scotia Youth Choir. This was the provincial choir for singers around my age and I really hoped to be successful in my audition. A few weeks later I found out that I had got in and was over the moon. That summer I went to a camp in Berwick (my favourite place) to rehearse with the choir. We were given a new piece to learn composed by Kim Andre Arnesen called “Even When He is Silent”. This soon became the most special choral piece for me as it was the first time I was truly captivated by the music I was making and the people I was making it with. This experience influenced me to continue pursuing choral music as more than a hobby.
Throughout junior high and into to my university days, I have been fortunate enough to be involved in Xara Choral Theatre. I think that Xara has had the biggest effect on shaping the woman I have become. This choir is an all-female ensemble ranging from 18-30 who “gives life to sung stories that are a feast or the senses and heart-felt explorations of identity, community, and culture”. I have performed in a number of shows with these beautifully courageous women ranging from sharing knowledge of stories from midwives who worked during the disastrous Halifax Explosion, to mythological shows involving the elements. Despite the variety of topics, each show focuses on humanitarian/environmental/social issues in Canada and abroad. In the fall I was honoured to perform Xara’s show “Fatty Legs” based on Margaret Pokiak-Fenton’s true story of her experiences as an indigenous girl in a residential school. This tour changed my life and really made me re-evaluate how I had been choosing to use my voice in music. Since being a part of this show, I have changed my degree to focus not solely on music and to make sure that I can use my instrument to help create change where it is needed.
March was Music Therapy month, and at Acadia there were a lot of opportunities to better understand what music therapy is. According the Canadian Association of Music Therapists, music therapy is
“a discipline in which credentialed professionals use music purposefully within therapeutic relationships to support development, health, and well-being. Music therapists use music safely and ethically to address human needs within cognitive, communicative, emotional, musical, physical, social, and spiritual domains”.
In our weekly concert series at the School of Music, the music therapy students were able to showcase what a session might look like from start to finish. They displayed different situations and how music can be used in a number of ways to target certain aspects/needs for the patient. I found this extremely interesting because for a long time I had thought that music therapy could only be used in one way.
When I was younger, I struggled a lot with my mental health and in junior high, I was hospitalized. During my stay, I had my first experience with music therapy. It was a huge jam session where most of the patients got involved by picking an instrument to play and getting to it. Though everyone participated to varying degrees, we all left the session feeling better. I have always remembered this moment as it was the first time I felt hopeful in months. Up until my first year of university, I thought that music therapy was only used to help emotionally, but I have come to realize that a lot of it is very physical. I also didn’t realize the amount of health care categories that it is used in -from people with physical and mental disabilities, to neonatal and geriatric care.
In my opinion, all music is therapy. Singing in the shower, playing in an orchestra, performing in a gig in a bar, listening to a playlist that you made for when you’re in a certain mood, and messing around with friends are all different forms of using music as an outlet for your emotions. I am so thankful that I get to take advantage of this every single day and that I have found a creative way to share my thoughts and feelings. Music is so powerful, and as the common saying goes “when words fail, music speaks”. So with that in mind, have a great week kind krafters and I hope that music helps you through your stressful exam seasons or busy work schedules.
Love Rhian xoxox
We are really grateful to announce that kind krafts is the recipient of the Dalhousie Student Union Sustainability Office Intersectional Engagement Award!
We were presented with this award at the Green Gala on Thursday!
The Intersectional Engagement Award goes to a group that recognizes sustainability as truly intersectional and works effectively for sustainability in the fullest sense of the term. We are thankful to DSUSO for recognizing us!
Hello kind krafters!
Hope you are all doing well and enjoying these first few weeks of April. I am writing this post to you from a coffee shop beside the ferry terminal in Horseshoe Bay, BC as I wait for a boat to take me to Gambier Island. This morning I hoped on a plane and flew from Haida Gwaii to Vancouver, then took a sky train to downtown Vancouver, and a bus to this coffee shop. I said goodbye to the friends and places that had become my life for the past three and a half months, and headed out on a new adventure, this time for six months. It has been a tough day, saying goodbye and hello to things and people I have held dear for the past while, and starting a whole new life, all in the same day.
In that spirit, I thought I’d dedicate this post to the process of saying goodbye. It’s a tough one, and there is by no means a single right answer for everyone. But here I’ll share some tips and tricks to help the process
Tips for Saying Goodbye to a Place
Tips for Saying Goodbye to People
The mundane; my favorite sunny weekend afternoon activity on Haida Gwaii.
I hope this helps all of you who may be currently, or in the near future dealing with some goodbyes. To those of you writing exams and finishing semesters, I wish you all the best of luck and send all the positive vibes your way.
As always, please let me know all of your tips for saying goodbye.
Hey kind krafters, and HAPPY SPRING! As of March 20th, we are officially done with winter! Personally, I am so pumped to be able to go outside again without slipping down icy staircases, and having my hair messed up every day by the hail/rain/snow. To help to shed our winter layers, I am going to share some of my favourite ways to get your spring cleaning underway and to spend your sunny days!
Time to de-clutter!
Too much in your wardrobe? Get rid of your old clothes that haven’t been worn in years by donating them to second-hand stores near you. There are several cool shops in the HRM area where they will find a new home for you unwanted clothes like Makenew Curated Thrift Shop, Lost & Found Art Vintage Kitsch, and Elsie’s Used Clothes. Another great organization to donate your dresses to is the Glass Slipper (https://www.facebook.com/GlassSlipperOrganization/). If you’ve been thinking about finally parting with your prom dress, this is the perfect place to donate it. The volunteers at Glass Slipper try to make sure that everyone can enjoy their dress shopping experience, even if they can’t afford to buy one!
Super cute look from at Lost & Found!