Matthew Barley/Cellist

If I were not a physicist, I would probably be a musician. I often think in music. I live my daydreams in music. I see my life in terms of music.

Albert Einstein

Matthew Barley has launched an arts foundation to run creative workshops using music and theatre to help university students with mental health. Students who take part in the project will experience 3 days of creativity; making new music, song and theatre, through which there will be a continuous dialogue about mental health and ways to improve it. The students will create a piece together over the course of the three days, which will be shared at the end, potentially with friends and colleagues. The workshop will end with a performance of Matthew Barley’s new multi-media show, Light Stories – a programme inspired partly by problems Matthew experienced as a teenager.

The workshops will also address longer term behaviours and thoughts around how to use music in daily life to make an effect on your mental health, alongside how to use music to find motivation to do all the ‘right things’ of eating well, sleeping well, limiting social media, getting fresh air and exercise.

The Foundation is hoping to run some pilots for these workshops in early 2024 and then run some more workshops in autumn 2024, using findings from the pilot workshops to meet needs more precisely.

Mission Statement of the Matthew Barley Arts Foundation:

To create high quality music and other art for performance and dissemination that is made in a way that always treats all people involved and adjacent to its creation with fairness and respect. To design and deliver workshops that use creative music and theatre to promote, improve and maintain positive mental health, especially for students in higher education.

The charitable objects of the Matthew Barley Arts Foundation are:

1) For the public benefit, to advance the musical education of students in higher and tertiary education by enhancing the knowledge, experience, enjoyment, understanding and performance of classical and contemporary music, dance, choreography and the visual arts, including through tuition, master-classes, events and performance opportunities.

2) The advancement of the arts for the public benefit through the provision of performances of artistic merit in classical and contemporary music, dance, choreography and the visual arts.

3) The preservation and protection of good mental health and wellbeing among students in higher education and tertiary education who are experiencing, or are at risk of experiencing mental health conditions, through participation in creative music and arts projects and workshops designed to improve the lives of participants.

Professor Sally Maitlis (Chair)
Professor of Organisational Behaviour and Leadership,
Saïd Business School, Oxford University

Mr Benjamin Mellefont
Principal clarinet, London Philharmonic Orchestra

Dr Stewart Moshe Halperin,
Veterinary surgeon and pioneering Stem Cell Vet, founder/director of Medicine Festival at Wasing