Music therapy gives students a release amid pandemic pressures

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Saturday marks one year since the peacetime emergency in Minnesota went into effect. For many, including kids, the past 12 months have been filled with stress, anxiety and loneliness.

"We’ve definitely been seeing a lot of suicide attempts and an increase in our eating disorder population. We’ve seen just an increase in isolation that kids are feeling," said Alicia Little, music therapist at Children’s Minnesota. "I would love parents to encourage any sort of expression, it does not have to be perfect."

At Spark School of Music in Osseo, music teacher Nick Tucker is encouraging children to freely express themselves.

Online educational resource for students helps with stress, anxiety

"Just seeing those depression rates just made my heart hurt. And so we felt the need to take action and to do something about it," Tucker said.

And it’s working for fifth-grade student Simon Kapsner.

"Drums in particular are just very expressive … and it’s not easy to break. So if I get annoyed at something I can just grab a stick and whack a drum," Simon said. "It’s nice to spend 30 minutes whacking a drum and not thinking of anything else."

Tucker says he sees a change in his students once they start playing.

"I’ve seen it show up, show up in the kids, who had school shut down, who have had parents who are sick, or have had elderly who are sick. And as they are playing, there is this joy that almost radiates out of them," Tucker said.

Tucker is inviting students around the state to submit creative work for their first-ever music competition, which is free to the public and goes through the end of March.

"It’s an opportunity for kids to use their creative voices. To feel seen," Tucker said. "We’re asking kids to submit a song, lyrics, poetry or even instrumental music that lays that all out on the table."

For information go to the link here.

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