Small performing arts charity supports wellbeing of thousands through song

A small performing arts charity is having a big impact during the pandemic, reaching thousands of isolated people through song. Shapeshifter Productions' free online Smiling Sessions are helping to support peoples' wellbeing and mental health during this difficult time.

Released every Monday, the Smiling Sessions feature celebrity guest performers and a range of popular and favourite songs that trigger memories and lift spirits. Each session comes with on-screen lyrics and is accessible to everyone via an easy to use online app -https://www.smilingsessions.com/ - and also as downloadable links and mp3s.

Among the celebrities lined up to take part in the second series of the Sessions are KT Tunstall, Brian McFadden, Chris Difford, Merrill Osmond, the RSC Choir and Basil Brush. They perform a range of well-known and uplifting songs like ‘Fly Me to the Moon’, ‘Edelweiss’, ‘Secret Love’, ‘Will you Still Love Me Tomorrow’ and ‘Moon River’.

Formerly run by the charity as live participatory singing events in care homes and sheltereed housing schemes, the Smiling Sessions began in April during lockdown when so many people became isolated.  

"With the effects of Covid-19 still very much with us, it's more important than ever to reach out to everyone who may still be isolated; to support their wellbeing and mental health,"says Shapeshifter Productions Artistic Director Alison Jones. "Music and singing have always been a great means of raising spirits and keeping people of all ages healthy. Now more and more research is showing the power of music to heal the brain, the imagination and the heart. 

"Without regular human contact or stimulating, life-affirming events to enjoy, many people are still confined and feeling even more lonely and disconnected.

We want to raise awareness of the power of song and the impact singing has on health, wellbeing and mindfulness, no matter what your age may be. We also want to build an awareness with the public of the terrible isolation many people are still experiencing."

Start taking part in the Smiling Sessions by downloading their Smiling Sessions app or click on the link to find out more about the Smiling Sessions. Or you can call 02070 971409 or email Violaine@shapeshifter-productions.com.

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