Song-writing workshops for men in Grenfell

Filed : Ageing, disability, wellbeing projects, Lifelong Learning, Projects .

MEN of the Grenfell area – come and learn to write original songs through a series of free song-writing workshops. Starts July 20.

Over four weeks singer-song writer Abby Smith, of the band Smith & Jones, will help participants to write lyrics and music and then fine tune their new songs for recording and performance.

Starting Thursday July 20, the four weekly workshops will be held 10am-Noon and 1–3pm at The Henry Lawson High School.

The Song-writing for Wellbeing program aims to increase connectedness between generations and focusses on mental health wellbeing with the song-writing used as an outlet for participants to tell their stories.

Abby Smith

Men from Grenfell Men’s Shed and the general community are involved along with a group of boys from The Henry Lawson High School with support of music teacher Brodie McKnight.

After the first workshop on 20 July, Grenfell Men’s Shed’s Phillip Diprose wrote:

For those of us in attendance it was a very special day of learning and working together in a supportive and positive environment. Everyone contributed strongly and the input from the 10 THLHS students was inspiring and fantastic to watch. We can’t wait for the next workshop this Thursday!

Some of those already involved are musicians but others are getting into in music for the first time.

“I’m excited by the prospect of many spin-off benefits to our community, including local song-writing skills development and increased connectedness between men of all ages throughout the Weddin Shire,” local project organiser and Grenfell Men’s Shed Treasurer Phillip Diprose said.

“Maybe we’ll even get a song or two that can become something of a local anthem, but most important will be the teamwork and camaraderie that comes from working and learning together on a common activity,” Mr Diprose said.

“Arts – and especially music – is a great vehicle for assisting people with their mental health wellbeing,” Arts OutWest executive director Tracey Callinan said. “We’re really excited for these workshops to be happening in Grenfell.”

A passionate team of people have come together to make the project happen including regional arts development organisation Arts OutWest, Grenfell Men’s Shed, The Henry Lawson High School, THLHS P&C and Grenfell Community & NSW Health with the support of three local Councillors. Funding comes from House With No Steps’ Mental Health Drug and Alcohol Services.

Arts OutWest has built this and seven other wellbeing projects across the NSW Central West in close consultation with local groups and with mental health and disability support services. Arts OutWest is regarded as a regional leader in the arts and health field.

Workshops are free. To RSVP Arts OutWest on 6338 4657 or email artsoutwest@csu.edu.au

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