My name is Jo Warren and I am a freelance Community Musician and Singing Group Leader.
Up until 2017, I had been working as Royalties Director for a literary agency and only pursuing musical interests in my spare time - writing songs and playing keys/singing in bands. However, this all changed in early 2018 when I started volunteering as a music assistant at Share Community (a non-profit that supports adults with learning disabilities, autism, and mental health needs).
Experiencing and supporting participatory music-making and singing in this way really struck a chord with me and I knew that facilitating access to music and singing, particularly for people that might not otherwise be able to access it due to the additional challenges they face, was of great interest to me and something I have become passionate about ever since.
So far, my experience of facilitating sessions has been with adults (1-2-1 and groups), both in person and online. As a freelancer, I have been working with Chiltern Music Therapy since September 2018 and had the opportunity to work with different client groups, including those with dementia, learning disabilities, autism, acquired brain injury and mental health needs. I also work with Sing Your Pain Away – their groups are designed to promote singing for wellbeing, health and fun and appeal to those who might be unable to commit to a more traditional choir set-up for various reasons.
I am about to start the MA in Voice Pedagogy as I hope to further inform and expand my practice.