Just The Tonic with Katie Derham


The Power of Song with Sir Mark Elder

Season 1, Ep. 2

We're all about the power of song! Countless studies show that singing in choirs can help beat the blues, boost your social life, reduce your stress levels and help you exercise - and, according to the choir members we hear from in this episode, it's true!

Singers in The People's Show Choir Halesowen and the Hallé Orchestra's Ancoats Community Choir talk about the life-changing benefits they get from singing together - and, according to Ula Weber, Halesowen Show Choir Leader, anyone can sing! We hear about the growing social prescribing movement that means GPs can prescribe the arts instead of medicine and Music Director of the Hallé, Sir Mark Elder tells Katie how singing together can have an incredible impact on our health.



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Inspirational Music Educators with Nicola Benedetti

Season 1, Ep. 6
Katie Derham explores how music education for children can be Just The Tonic. She finds out from Nicola Benedetti how music-making can help young people learn all sorts of life skills. Nicola has long been a champion of making music lessons widely available and, through her Benedetti Foundation, provided a lifeline for young musicians during the pandemic. The enormous benefits of giving children a good music education are well-recognised. Neavan Lobban, twenty-two-year-old principal conductor with The People's Orchestra attended a state school that specialised in music education. He firmly believes that instrumental lessons should be provided free of charge. Sistema Scotland's Big Noise projects have been helping young people in deprived communities in Scotland for a number of years, providing music lessons at no cost. Based on the renowned El Sistema system in Venezuela, their motto is social change through music. Senior musician Jo Ashcroft has worked at the Big Noise project in Raploch, Stirling for many years and she's seen first-hand how children who attend music lessons regularly do better at school. Symone and Scott Hutchison are living proof! They've been attending Big Noise lessons since primary school and now they're on course for a career in music. There are many ways in which making music can have a lasting impact on young people's lives. Find out more when Katie meets inspirational music educators in this week's Just The Tonic.