PMZ Special Adviser
University of Tampere, Finland. Professor, Centre for Arts as Wellbeing, University of Winchester. Professor of Arts in Health, University of the West of England.
What do you do for PMZ?
I am a former Trustee for PMZ but stepped down when I moved to the University of Tampere in Finland. I was keen to maintain my international links with Plymouth Music Zone and its work so was delighted to be invited to remain as one of their Special Advisers. I am a musician and researcher specialising in the role of arts and music in supporting health and wellbeing. I have researched and written about the impacts of music in a variety of settings including GP surgeries, hospitals, communities and prisons, working with participants of all ages. I was previously based at the University of Winchester where I am a Professor in the Centre for Arts as Wellbeing.
Do you play any instruments?
I play the saxophone and I also compose and arrange music. I am the Music Director of a unique community orchestra, the Bristol Reggae Orchestra, a 30 piece ensemble that includes musicians and singers from a wide range of backgrounds. Since we began in 2010 we have performed all over the South West and Wales, and have been broadcast on Radio 3!
What musical instrument would best describe you as a person?
I’m not sure if it describes me as a person but my favourite musical instrument at present is the soprano saxophone. I am drawn to it because it has a clear voice and it is deceptively adaptable to lots of different playing situations and genres.
What has music done for you in your life?
I have been involved in music all my life. My dad was a sax player and music arranger who dedicated himself to big band music. My mum is a dance teacher and is still active, giving lessons for all sections of the community. I grew up with music and dance in equal measure. I love jazz, folk and Latin music and I currently teach salsa dance. I have found that dance and music are both fantastic ways of dealing with life’s challenges.
What’s the best bit about working at PMZ?
I am very pleased to be supporting PMZ as a Special Adviser. I hope to share my knowledge and awareness of the value of research as well as the development of best practice in community music.
What’s the first record/CD you ever bought?
In all honesty I cannot remember buying my first record but I used to be a great fan of Donny Osmond, David Cassidy and the Jackson 5 so it would have to be one of them!