SongTrees at the Surrey Festival
SongTrees "Sound Bites" Project: CHANCES4CHANGE - Improving health and wellbeing for people in South East England.
An intergenerational and cross-cultural Programme featuring songs, dances and healthy ethnic foods, as young people learned about their cultural roots through interviewing their older family members and friends. Music, dance and exercise, even sedentary exercise for the elderly, were delivered to help alleviate psychosocial stress and obesity.
This award-winning project worked with schools, families and communities in Surrey and West Sussex, including those in which health and social inequalities are prevalent. Participants benefited by having access to 'well-being education' through exciting artistic activities. Health professionals raised awareness of how a good diet – along with physical and creative activities such as singing and dancing – work together to enhance our health and well-being at all ages.
For the project the eminent composer Jonathan Willcocks was commissioned to combine 3 generations in song, recalling favourite food, dance and musical memories, as gleaned from the interviews conducted using specially devised questionnaires. Community Centres and schools were able to engage in rehearsals and concerts through shared songs, as well as Willcocks' exciting 'healthy living' composition, entitled 'Good for You!'. They were invited to work with leading musicians from Yehudi Menuhin's national training Programme, 'Live Music Now', as well as with professional musicians & dancers from within their own communities.