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Brenda Rattray provides an early glimpse into IPIA 2022

Ahead of Sound Connections’ annual ‘Inclusive Practice in Action’ (IPIA) conference, guest curator Brenda Rattray provides an early glimpse into what the event will look like, our inspirational speaker line-up, and what you can hope to gain by attending this full-day event on Thursday 7 April.

What is IPIA going to look like this year?

This year, IPIA will focus on Mental Health and Wellbeing! It will be an opportunity for all who attend to have conversations, reflect, recharge our batteries, dump some of the old ideas that no longer serve us, in the ‘New World’ that we now find ourselves living in, and a chance to select new, healthier ways of thinking, being and doing.

I personally appeal to all practitioners, music educators, managers, and leaders of organisations to come together and take an honest look at mental health and wellbeing, and to do so through the lens of race, gender, disability and class. It is vital that we work together to look at the make-up of organisational leadership and whether the voices of those of us, me included, who suffer specifically because of workplace or setting discrimination within the music education sector, are being heard. I have to be honest and acknowledge that there will be conversations that may be uncomfortable and challenging for some, but the ‘dance with discomfort’ is important if we seriously desire to grow together and change.

Our inspirational speakers include:

  • Lisa Cherry, whose unique book, ‘Conversations that make a difference for children and young people.’ is described as a call to action and an opportunity to look around and decide what kind of community we want to live in and what sort of legacy we want to leave – a must read for everyone working with children and young people.
  • Bazil Meade, (MBE) Founder and Leader of the highly acclaimed ‘London Community Gospel Choir.’
  • Paul Whittaker, who has been profoundly deaf since birth, and yet pursued a career as a musician, founding a charity to help deaf people enjoy music.
  • Anjana Rinne, who has a passion for creating diverse, equal, inclusive musical environments in the early years sector.
  • Miss Jacqui, a talented poet and musician who is raising awareness of the challenges faced by disabled artists in the music industry

…and a host of other invited guests, which includes you and everyone who reads this article!!

What can people hope to gain by attending?

A safe, welcoming space where honest conversations can be had. A truly shared healing experience. A special chance to connect with diverse peoples. Through moments of silent reflection, we will connect with ourselves and each other, feel grounded, and leave the conference feeling not only lighter, but also with informed ideas on how to maintain our wellbeing and good mental health, as we take honest, reflective action towards creating wellbeing and mental health in the truest sense of these words, at every level within the workplace.

My child is your child. Let’s collectively take the challenge and step towards creating better lives for all whenever and wherever the opportunities arise.

Learn more about IPIA and how to book your tickets here.


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