It’s International Stress Awareness Week! We are celebrating the power of music, which has been shown to reduce stress and improve a sense of well-being.
What happens when we experience stress?
When we experience a perceived threat, a chain reaction triggers in the body. Our cells activate to produce chemicals associated with the stress response, such as cortisol and adrenaline. If these hormones are active over a longer period, this can have a negative impact on our stress levels.
How can music help?
Research shows that playing a musical instrument can reduce stress by triggering the opposite chain reaction by switching off the genes that produce this response.
Playing an instrument for an hour a week can lower this stress and improve a sense of well-being. Listening to music is also beneficial because it can promote faster autonomic recovery after exposure to a stressful event.
The fact that music can improve stress is well documented. We believe that all children should have the same opportunities to access the calming power of musical engagement. Vision impairment and disability should not be a barrier to enjoying musical participation.
The Amber Trust in action
Our music services and schemes support children who are blind or partially sighted, including those with additional disabilities, to engage with their musicality and all the benefits that come from this.
- Little Amber supports babies and children up to the age of 5. Musical equipment and instruments will be provided, in addition to regular home visits from a specially trained music practitioner.
- AmberPlus supports children and young people from the age of 5 until they are 18. Similarly to Little Amber, musical equipment and instruments will be provided, in addition to regular home visits from a specially trained music practitioner.
- With Music in Mind is a specialist Amber service supporting children with vision impairment who also have a neurodegenerative disease. Families will receive resources and visits from a trained music practitioner.
- Amber Music Awards fund the provision of music lessons and instruments as well as the expenses incurred to participate in music-making opportunities.