Trauma, Music, and the Breath Working Group
The goal of the Trauma, Music, and the Breath Working Group is to draw on music and the breath to help Generation C children process the collective trauma of the COVID-19 global pandemic and ultimately to demonstrate these techniques as effective interventions for improving human health and wellbeing.
About the Project
The Trauma, Music, and the Breath Working Group will develop evidence-based musical interventions to help Generation C children between the ages 5 and 11 process the collective trauma of the COVID-19 global pandemic. The group will deploy group singing, rhythm, and the breath as tools for mitigating the multiple effects of this trauma, including the developmental disruptions stemming from interrupted schooling and reduced socialization. These interventions will ultimately be mobilized in elementary schools and community centers around the world to help children process trauma experienced as a result of the global pandemic, enabling them to thrive in their educational and home communities. Community leaders, classroom teachers, music educators, musicians, counselors, pediatricians, psychologists, and psychiatrists will have access to the training and the tools to teach others how to use music and breath to support children processing trauma.
Our group’s project will target primary school-age children (ages 5-11) around the world who are experiencing trauma associated with their experiences of the pandemic. We will first undertake a global analysis of global best practices in music, breath, and trauma. We will then design music-based interventions, with the support of experts in psychology, child development, psychiatry, engineering, music, ethnomusicology, and neuroscience, as well as close global, community-based partnerships. Subsequently, we plan to design and execute a research study to investigate the effects of the newly designed musical intervention using both biomedical and qualitative behavioral data collection strategies. Findings from our empirical investigations will illuminate best practices for leveraging group singing, rhythm, and the breath as an intervention for children processing trauma. In addition to disseminating our empirical findings to increase global awareness of the power of music and the breath to mitigate trauma’s effects, we will also design pedagogical materials, develop training programs, and recommend university-level curricular changes leading to larger-scale implementation and increased global impact.
Heather Aranyi (Northwestern University, Lyric Opera of Chicago)*
Sarah Bartolome (Music Education, Bienen School of Music)*
Deb Birnbaum (Metropolitan Opera)
Teresa Brancaccio (Voice and Opera, Bienen School of Music)
Michelle Buck (Kellogg School of Management)
Amanda Draper (Music Education, Bienen School of Music)
Melissa Foster (Theatre, School of Communication)
Ben Gorvine (Psychology, Weinberg College of Arts & Sciences)
Nancy Gustafson (Voice and Opera, Bienen School of Music)
Kurt Hansen (Voice and Opera, Bienen School of Music)
Mark Werwath (Kellogg School of Management)
*indicates group leaders