WHAT IS BELONG TO SONG?
Belong to Song is a weekly drop-in music jam for those with lived experience of mental illness. It is held every Thursday from 1:00pm to 3:00pm at My Sisters’ Place.
Each jam session is attended by 20 to 25 participants in various stages of recovery and with a wide range of musical abilities. Supported by a peer facilitator and professional musician working together to engage participants in music making. All musical genres are welcome and appreciated.
Belong to Song is like karaoke with a live band. Requested songs are found online and charts and lyrics are projected onto a large screen so that the audience and musicians can see them.
Many participants also share original songs, improvise with the band, or bring lyrics or melodies that facilitators help complete.
Everyone who wants to perform has an opportunity. Some participants come to play an instrument or sing, others just to listen.
When funding is available, participants receive mentoring and financial assistance to take private lessons.
Belong to Song participants come from CMHA Middlesex, My Sisters' Place, the Prevention & Early Intervention for Psychoses Program (PEPP), Assertive Community Treatment (ACT) Teams, Parkwood Institute Mental Health Care, and other mental health agencies in the London region.
COME TO A JAM SESSION
Belong to Song welcomes those with lived experience of mental illness, as well as their families and friends.
A jam session is held every Thursday from 1:00pm - 3:00pm at My Sisters’ Place, 566 Dundas Street. Please use the parking lot entrance (behind the building) and take the elevator directly to the third floor. Snacks and refreshments are provided.
The program reduces stigma about mental illness, improves participants' self-esteem, and builds community through group music-making. Participants have opportunities to perform in the community several times a year, and many regularly socialize outside of the program.
SUPPORT THE PROGRAM
Originally founded and supported by London’s Mental Health Promotions Committee, Belong to Song is now a collaboration between the London Arts Council (providing program coordination, administration, and facilitation) and the Canadian Mental Health Association Middlesex (providing staff support as needed, program space, and client referrals).
Friends of Belong to Song
• Frederic Laloux •
• The Rotary Club of London-Lambeth •
• Sue Brown •
For more information about Belong to Song,
please contact Richard Gracious
(Artist in Residence, London Arts Council)