health and wellbeing
Music college appoints wellbeing lecturer
The Royal Northern College of Music (RNCM) has become the first the first conservatoire in the country to appoint a specialist lecturer in musicians’ health and wellbeing.
Chartered clinical psychologist and trained pianist Sara Ascenso will start work at the Manchester-based college in the New Year, and will develop the health and wellbeing provision across the College, ensuring that it is holistic, tailored to musicians’ needs, research-based and embedded in the curriculum.
“Adding to lecturing and research, the vision for the role also includes carefully monitoring the specific wellbeing needs of RNCM students and staff and looking at how the most recent findings in this area can shape our planning towards optimal delivery across a wide range of initiatives,” said Ms Ascenso.
“We want our students to learn how to make music with excellence but also how to live fulfilling lives as musicians and as human beings more generally. This means that what they are learning is not only about doing but also about being. We want to maximize our efforts to make sure they experience what being well as a musician means during their time at the RNCM.”
Her appointment comes as the college dedicates its annual financial appeal to health and wellbeing.
Money raised in the annual appeal will go towards providing extra frontline counselling sessions in evenings and at peak times when performance pressures are at their greatest and expanding the college’s team of mental health first aiders.
“Every year, we welcome around 850 gifted students from over 60 countries,” said RNCM Students’ Union President, Kathy Hart.
“I know from my many conversations across campus that these individuals all share two things – a passion for music and a dream to become the best musicians they can be. I also know they wouldn’t be here without often more than a decade of dedication, sacrifice and hard work.
“When I talk to friends, I see that the work needed to build such a difficult career can come at a price, both physically and psychologically. Like athletes, we must keep in peak condition to make the most of the opportunities we have fought so hard for. The more work we put in, the higher the stakes become – and the more devastating the impact if we are held back by injury or mental health struggles,” added Ms Hart.
To find out more about the college’s annual appeal, click here.