We hope that you have all enjoyed a sunny, restful and relaxing half term.
For some time, Coda Music Trust and Hampshire Arts for Recreation and Therapy (hArt) have been working closely together, nurturing a partnership and sharing both premises and common aims.
The two charities have now joined forces, merging in order to reach more people and better support them by providing further opportunities to engage in, and benefit from, music and the arts at a time when it is most in need.
The merger between our two creative charities has facilitated a change of name to Coda Music and Arts Trust and an expansion of Coda’s objectives and activities beyond music to embrace a broader range of artistic and creative services.
It also allows the pooling of resources to enhance and expand the organisation with new skills and grow our team of experienced and excellent educators, workshop leaders and therapists.
Coda Music and Arts Trust will seek to address inequality in our community by providing universal access to the arts, music and creativity and continuing to devise and deliver innovative education and health programmes which positively impact the lives of local people.
With this organisational development comes a significant capital development project and Coda Music and Arts Trust is now working on a major venture to convert former barns at its home on Chewton Farm Road. The expansion will create a unique facility where Coda can build on its successful history of music learning and education by providing a broader range of creative arts therapy and health services.
The new development will include spaces and equipment for these creative and health services as well as new learning, workshop, rehearsal and exhibition spaces, which will allow the delivery of even more activities on-site and enable Coda to grow into a centre for creativity of all kinds.
HEALTH & HAPPINESS CHOIR SING FOR GATEHOUSE RESIDENTS
On 25th May, our lovely Coda Health & Happiness Choir, along with choirmaster Jane Wright, visited The Gatehouse Care Home in New Milton to bring some musical joy to the residents there.
The choir was much enjoyed by all and they are now planning more care home visits in the future.
ART THERAPY FOR CHILDREN’S MENTAL HEALTH
With high demand on children’s mental health services resulting in long waiting lists and local services being overwhelmed with referrals, the New Forest Family Support Service (part of Hampshire Children’s Services) commissioned hArt (now Coda Music and Arts Trust) to deliver group work to a number of children who use their service.
The children invited had all experienced a level of trauma and were struggling with their emotional wellbeing and, for most, this was the only access to therapeutic support available to them.
The purpose of the project was to run groups each term, introducing children (and parents) to the benefits of Art Therapy, with the aim of understanding how these activities can support better management of mental health and emotional wellbeing.
New Forest Family Support Service have now successfully held four cohorts with hArt, describing this work as “invaluable,” and we are looking forward to partnering on more work together in the future.
Feedback from some parents includes the following lovely testimonials:
“I have seen my child gain confidence and be able to communicate her thoughts and feelings”
“Thank you very much for bringing me and my children closer together. Thank you for making it OK to feel the way we feel with emotions.”
“We have all really enjoyed Art Therapy . We have been able to connect as a family through a creative activity. I was amazed how deep emotions came out just through using clay and paint”
“It has been brilliant that his interest in art being used to improve his confidence and self esteem. His ability to express himself through art and for us to remind him of it at times of heightened stress.”
“my son is calmer and it has helped him understand his emotions”
and from a couple of the children who participated:
“Art therapy made me feel really calm, and close with my Mum”
“I liked that we did it together, it was all really good and has helped with my confidence”
It has been really gratifying to receive acknowledgement that this quality time spent together creating art results in noticeable improvements in confidence, self esteem and emotional wellbeing of the young participants, as well as helping parents and children feel closer and better connected.
GOODBYE TO DEBORAH JORDAN
Just prior to half term, we said a sad goodbye to Deborah Jordan, one of our longest-serving tutors. Deborah has been teaching at Coda for over a decade but is now relocating to pastures new.
The move happened much more quickly than she (and we) expected, but we wish her (and partner Simon) all the very best in their new life on the Devon/Cornwall border.
We are actively looking for a new, enthusiastic vocal tutor to take over from September and we will be in touch again with Deborah’s students as soon as we find the right person.
The Coda Summer Term finishes on Friday 21st July for the holidays, reopening on Monday 4th September for the Autumn Term.