The World Health Organisation published a report in the end of 2019 which affirmed the beneficial impact of art on our physical and mental health. Based on 900 scientific papers, it stated that artistic activities are crucial to our development from conception to old age, and should be mainstreamed alongside therapeutic protocols in hospitals, education and everyday life to improve our well-being.
Barely a year and a half later, the whole world has faced the Covid-19 epidemic. A crisis which is causing unprecedented health, economic and social damage and which is having a lasting effect on our mental and psychological health. Psycho-social risks are becoming an emergency for specialists, especially in young populations.
However, for the past year, almost all cultural venues have come to a standstill and streaming on the Internet has become the main vehicle for the arts but also for the teaching of artistic disciplines. The International Yehudi Menuhin Foundation and the MUS-E Network were no exceptions and had to take a turn and adapt their activities. All our projects were impacted deeply and we come back on some of them :
The MUS-E Network and all the MUS-E Organizations active in Europe, Brazil and Israel and implementing artistic sessions in primary schools and other institutions for disadvantaged and vulnerable learners have shown all their creativity and innovative spirit. The artists of the programme have been able to create online courses, artistic initiatives to keep the children engaged in the school (not only in the MUS-E sessions but for all the more classic disciplines taught in schools). The apparition of the digital technologies in the MUS-E Programme may have produced a deep reflection on the future of the programme and its need for transformation and innovation as much as it has shed a light on the necessity of such a programme in Europe to build resilient school systems. Further surveys and evaluation of the MUS-E transformation of activities will be analyzed this year by the International Yehudi Menuhin Foundation.
Of course, all of this cannot replace our deep need for direct access to beauty. Contact with art, far from being a “non-essential” activity, is on the contrary indispensable for our well-being, especially in times of crisis and we hope to come back soon with more !