Kerwin to present mental health report on brass band performers

Tabby Kerwin will unveil the findings of a new report into the mental health wellbeing of players and members of brass bands.

Menatal health
  The mental health wellbeing is looked at in detail in the new report by Tabby Kerwin.

A new report into the mental health wellbeing of individuals actively involved in brass banding will be unveiled this weekend in Durham.

It has been written by Tabby Kerwin, a respected brass player, writer and conductor, and will be presented on Saturday 20th July, at an event at the Brass International Festival in Durham.


The report is designed to give an overview of the effect that being in brass bands can have on mental health, with Tabby telling 4BR: "There is no doubt music and making music in groups and ensembles can be incredibly good for wellbeing, although statistics revealed by the charity 'Mind' also show that 1 in 4 adults are suffering from mental health issues.

Based on my personal experiences of mental health I wanted to look further into the direct connection that playing in brass bands has on mental health."


Tabby's research, which saw details and experiences logged from 328 respondents, stems from initial work undertaken by Help Musicians UK in 2016.

Commissioned by the leading independent charity for musicians led by Sally Anne Gross and Dr. George Musgrave, MusicTank / University of Westminster it look at mental health issues faced by musicians and the wider music industry as part of its MAD (Music and Depression) campaign.

It found that musicians may be up to three times more likely to suffer from depression compared to the general public.

Tabby added: "The intention of my work was to see if musicians specifically in the brass band movement suffered the same mental health issues as musicians in the wider music industry and to see if the statistics correlated.

I wanted to find if it was then necessary to provide the brass band movement with information and support with mental health provisions."

The report found that there was comparative evidence, with Tabby now keen to spread that knowledge and awareness of mental health issues so they are commonplace in bandrooms.

Based on my personal experiences of mental health I wanted to look further into the direct connection that playing in brass bands has on mental healthTabby Kerwin

High percentage

Tabby said: "There is a high percentage of brass band musicians suffering from nerves, anxiety, panic attacks and depression, but only 1.5% of the bands they are in members of have any kind of mental health provision.

Mental health is more important than physical health in many ways and we need greater awareness to support each other and, ultimately, look after our brass band musicians so we can keep the brass band movement strong."

Healthy Brass Day

On the launch of the report Tabby will be joined by other speakers to discuss wellbeing for brass musicians.

It forms part forms part of the Healthy Brass Day at the Brass International Festival at 4.00pm on Saturday 20th July at Elvet Riverside, Durham University.

To read the full report and report summary, visit www.modefor.co.uk

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