Music, Mental Health and Me
Hi, so I’m Toby! I live in Tiverton, Devon and have 2 beautiful kids that are slowly coming to the end of their school years. I tell you this so you know I have plenty of experience with kids of all ages.
So I’ve decided that I have finally fallen into a position where I can really help people and hopefully make a real difference to peoples lives. After building up 10+ years working with Mental and Physical Health and 30+ years playing and producing music… I finally had a brain wave…
It took me a while to get there and to be fair, iit is only due to my recent job role working with Autism and Aspergers, that I have built up experience and a very specific skill set (through the years) so I can now offer both children and adults a range of musical opportunities to help them learn multiple (if that’s what they would like) musical skills which will give them something fun to grip their interest and focus. This in turn will help boost their confidence, lower anxiety, create happiness and social interaction skills amongst more positives. Basically help to improve your loved ones general health and wellbeing if you are struggling to find a pathway that indulges their creative side. Before I show you what I can offer I would like to show you what experience I have…
My Mental Health Experience:
I have worked with a wide spectrum of folks with mental health diagnoses, behavioural disorders and physical difficulties (such as Dyspraxia) including; Brain Injuries, Bi-polar, Borderline Personality Disorder (BDP), Tourette’s, Depression, Anxiety, Autism and Aspergers. I have worked in a variety of settings from after school clubs to youth centres, supported living, children’s homes, leaving care (16-18yrs) and for the past 4 years I have been working at Step One Charity working with adults in their own homes who struggle with their Autism and Aspergers amongst other things.
All in all I have built up 10+ years of experience managing to help, inspire, support and improve peoples lives in whatever way I could… be it; helping with day to day tasks, getting people out the house, shopping, self confidence.
Just for a bit of background… the main narrative I would push was Sleep, Diet and Exercise as I believe these are the fundamental building blocks to help anybody become the best possible version of themselves. And the way I would help with this was with music and sports preferably. Obviously it would depend on the client but if they had an interest in either of these 2 subject areas then I found them both great building blocks for creating long term relationships. I am then able to encourage and positively influence their daily beahours and routines. Music was a great tool as nearly everyone enjoys some genre and we could work together to create their own tune/s. Not only is this a fun process as they get to see their master piece coming to life from scratch visually and logically but also this built trust between us and we could hit goals!
The main goals being:
1 1. Focus – having a new hobby to get your teeth in to.
2 2. To build confidence.
3 3. Build a skill set for life.
4 4. Happiness and enjoyment
Sport was great for obvious reasons but if possible we would go climbing and bouldering as this ticks many boxes.
1. It’s physical (great for body and mind)
1. 2. It’s mentally challenging, as you have to solve the puzzle of getting to the top.
1. It helps build social confidence through interaction. Depending on the time of day would offer different levels of socialising (morning – minimal, afternoon – more people, evening – lots of climbers)
My Music Experience:
So I started singing when I was 7 and was shortlisted for the Exeter Cathedral Choir, I learnt Flute up to grade 8 and played in school orchestras before I found a real passion for Drums and guitar. I took all 3 instruments as music lessons at Blundell’s. I’ve played in a couple bands throughout the years including acid jazz and metal bands. I went on to do music GCSE, A Level and Music Technology at degree standard which, coincidentally I had to learn to play piano to grade 5 standard. Technically I am a fully qualified Music Technician specialising in composition and production.
I will upload some examples of different genres to have written tunes for but just quickly, I have written EDM (electronic dance music) in breakbeat and drum n bass. I have written for hip hop and even a little country including live instruments. These are ALL areas I am able to teach.
So there you have it… I have outlined my experience and now I am combining my two main areas of passion and expertise in order to offer music lessons or music creation sessions specialising in the mental health sector.