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As a musician, Jane discovered that the art of following is an essential practice if you’re going to be anything other than a solo performer. Even more so if you then take music to people and places that normally don’t get the opportunity, such as hospitals and prisons.
This is a call to reclaim the idea of followership from the stereotype of being seen as a passive and sheep-like activity, and to re-engage with it as a skill that can be an engine of learning, collaboration, connection, and reaching for possibilities beyond our personal boundaries. We may even make some music together.
Jane is a drummer, facilitator, consultant and trainer; specialising in music in communication, health and wellbeing settings.
She believes that everyone can make music – piloting musical social innovation projects as diverse as a drumming group for people experiencing mental health difficulties; exploring musical communication skills with corporate trainers through the medium of paper; making music with prisoners and their children to encourage family bonding; sharing the delights of improvisation with orchestral musicians who want to play in hospitals; creating a spontaneous bicycle orchestra for the 2014 Commonwealth Games; investigating the potential for rhythm in aiding language learning, and articulating the potential of music in the lives of people with dementia.
In 2011, she was awarded her PhD based on musical interaction, highlighting the effects and mechanisms of group music making in human wellbeing. She has since trained musicians, music therapists, educators, trainers, arts practitioners, occupational therapists, and nursing staff from Bathgate to Bangalore.
In 2015, she was awarded a Winston Churchill travelling Fellowship, researching the role of music in the wellbeing of older adults in Japan, South Korea, Malaysia, and Singapore, and in 2016, was named a BBC music ‘Unsung Hero’ for her community work.
This talk was given at a TEDx event using the TED conference format but independently organized by a local community. Learn more at https://www.ted.com/tedx