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Music student’s mental health project hits the right note

17th May 2024

A final year student at Northumbria University has combined her love of classical music with a commitment to raising awareness of mental health issues by running a unique musical workshop.

Isobel Randall-Evans recently completed a six-month internship with Converge, a programme affiliated with the University that provides free educational opportunities on campus to adults facing mental health challenges.

During her internship, Isobel has been involved in community and social work – the highlight of which was designing and delivering a series of handbell ringing workshops to a group of 12 adults.

The Converge programme was established at Northumbria in 2018 in conjunction with York St John University. Courses are provided free of charge and are open to adults currently receiving support for their mental health or who have experienced mental health issues.

The courses are supported by university students such as Isobel as part of their degree programmes, as well as people who have come through Converge following an experience of mental ill health and progressed to become tutors on our programme.

Caption:Northumbria University Music student Isobel Randall-EvansIsobel, a third-year student on Northumbria’s Music BA (Hons) degree, said: “My internship with Converge was a really valuable experience which allowed me to draw upon my passion for music, especially classical music, with a commitment to addressing mental health challenges. It has also really helped with my overall confidence, and I feel it has given me the necessary skills needed once I graduate.”

In addition to her work with Converge, Isobel has also spent her final year exploring the criminalisation of rap music within US court trials for her dissertation project. She recently presented her findings to the rest of her course and received praise for her outstanding presentation from both her tutors and supervisor.

She added: “I've found the music course at Northumbria really good because it covers both theory and practical elements. Being a close-knit musical community, the programme feels more targeted and personalised to help develop a career in the outside world.”

Katherine Butler, a Music historian and Assistant Professor in Humanities at Northumbria University, said: “Throughout her time at Northumbria University, Isobel has consistently demonstrated a remarkable dedication to her studies and a passion for her field. Her current dissertation on the criminalisation of rap music in US court trials is a testament to her intellectual curiosity and critical thinking skills.

“Her involvement in the community through her internship with Converge exemplifies her commitment to using her talents for positive social impact. Isobel's creativity, diligence, and dedication make her a truly outstanding student deserving of recognition.”

Find out more about Converge at Northumbria including new funding of £388,000 from The National Lottery Community Fund announced last month.

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