Hampstead local and renowned DJ, Matthew Benjamin aka Bushwacka!, has teamed up with Virgin Media and the UK’s largest music therapy charity, Nordoff Robbins, to host a workshop on the power electronic music and its role in music therapy.
On Tuesday 21 September, Nordoff Robbins, which specialises in person-centred music therapy, invited its trainee therapists to an instrumental jamming session and DJ masterclass, with Bushwacka!, who is also a trained psychotherapeutic counsellor and the founder of Listen Up Therapy.
Nordoff Robbins believes in the value of music for all people in our society and uses music therapy to help people living with life-limiting illness, profound disabilities, or isolation.
The aim of the workshop was to showcase the potential of electronic music in the context of therapy, while exploring the impact that the act of listening, discussing, improvising, and playing music can have on people and their lives.
This comes as research from UK Music reveals that 59% of adults feel that music aids their health and wellbeing, with 30% turning to music when they’re feeling anxious, to improve mood or when they’re feeling low (56%).
Almost three quarters (74%) say that music is important to their quality of life and more than half (59%) feel that it helped them to cope during lockdown – leading to more than one million adults taking up an instrument during months of isolation.
The workshop forms part of Virgin Media’s partnership with Nordoff Robbins – with the brand donating £50,000 to the charity as part of its ‘Summer Jams’ campaign. The funding is helping Nordoff Robbins’ expert music therapists to continue to connect with people and families experiencing isolation – after the charity’s funding was hit hard by the pandemic.
Richard Bennett, Course Leader at Nordoff Robbins, said: “As the UK’s largest independent music therapy charity, we are always looking for ways to expand our knowledge and educate our therapists about new ways to use music in the work we do. We were very excited to partner with Virgin Media and Bushwacka! to offer our up and coming students the opportunity to try their hand at using their instruments to improvise with electronic music.”
Electronic music pioneer Bushwacka! trained as a music therapist after 30 years in the music industry, founding Listen Up Therapy with meditation teacher Belinda Matwali.
Bushwacka!, DJ, said: “Music is such a big part of my life, and it has been an honour to meet with Nordoff Robbins to explore the power of music together. As a professional DJ and trained psychotherapeutic counsellor, I use house and dance music daily, and believe that listening and playing music with others, and alone can have a positive impact on people’s everyday lives.”
The workshop took place ahead of Bushwacka! playing a set at Virgin Media’s Club Rewind – the UK’s first inter-city connected club experience, which took place simultaneously in London and Glasgow on Wednesday 22 September. The noughties Ibiza themed event was headlined by Pete Tong (London) and Carl Cox (Glasgow).
Find out more about Club Rewind here.
Notes to Editors
The survey of 1,000 UK adults was carried out by UK Music in July 2021.
About Virgin Media O2
Virgin Media O2 launched on 1 June 2021, combining the UK’s largest and most reliable mobile network with a broadband network offering the fastest widely available broadband speeds. It is a customer-first organisation that brings a range of connectivity services together in one place with a clear mission: to upgrade the nation. Virgin Media O2 is the corporate brand of the 50:50 joint venture between Liberty Global and Telefónica SA, and one of the UK’s largest businesses.
The company has 47 million UK connections across broadband, mobile, TV and home phone. Its own fixed network currently passes 15.5 million premises alongside a mobile network that covers 99% of the nation’s population with 4G, and almost 200 towns and cities with 5G services. Virgin Media O2 is committed to delivering gigabit broadband speeds across its entire network footprint by the end of 2021 and plans to upgrade its fixed network to full fibre to the premises with completion in 2028.
Virgin Media O2 is a major investor in the UK. It employs around 18,000 people, has more than 430 retail stores and has committed to invest at least £10 billion over the next five years.
As integration work progresses at pace, both Virgin Media and O2 continue to offer their respective products to customers, with new, joint services launching soon.
Today, the business delivers award-winning broadband and WiFi connectivity to homes as well as providing a connected entertainment service. This brings together live TV, thousands of hours of on-demand programming and a wide-selection of apps to customers through a set-top box and on-the-go through tablets and smartphones.
It also provides 2G, 3G, 4G and 5G mobile services, and is the network of choice for mobile virtual network operators giffgaff, Sky Mobile and Lycamobile, as well as managing a 50:50 joint venture with Tesco for Tesco Mobile.
Virgin Media O2 Business plays a leading role in supporting the public sector and businesses of all sizes. This includes a variety of managed connectivity services and flexible working capabilities, security, data insight, 5G private networks and cloud solutions, as well as wholesale services to other operators and partners
Awards for Virgin Media and O2’s telecommunications services include recognition by GWS for having the most reliable UK mobile network for three years in a row (2021, 2020, and 2019) and winning the publicly voted Uswitch awards in 2021 for the fourth consecutive year for Best Network Coverage (mobile) and Fastest Broadband Provider.
Virgin Media O2 is committed to using the power of connectivity to supercharge communities across the UK, taking action to close the digital divide and helping to build an inclusive, resilient, and low carbon economy. The company has an ambition to achieve net zero carbon operations (scopes 1 & 2) by the end of 2025.
Virgin Media O2 is registered in England and Wales. Registration number: 12580944. Griffin House, 161 Hammersmith Road, London, United Kingdom, W6 8BS.
About Nordoff Robbins
At Nordoff Robbins, we stand for music and believe in the value of music for all people in our society. Our vision is to live in a world where through music therapy, human potential is recognised regardless of profound disability, illness or social exclusion.
Music Therapy is a recognised health and therapeutic intervention, our therapists are highly skilled musicians and are training to an exceptional standard. Training in the Nordoff Robbins’ approach to music therapy formally began in 1974 and is now delivered under Goldsmith’s University and is registered with the Health Care Professions Council (HCPC).
We provide a range of different sessions for children and adults of all ages in our centres in London, Manchester, Newcastle and Scotland – from specialised one-to-one music therapy to shared sessions for groups of different sizes and formats.
About Listen Up Therapy
Listen Up Therapy provides a safe space to give people an outlet to voice and work through issues in their lives and feel supported. Designed for people who work in music, media, entertainment and beyond, we believe the practices we offer have the power to profoundly change lives.
Coming from creative and performing backgrounds, our founders truly understand some of the unique challenges that come from working in these industries.