Former Adelaide Zoo bird-keeper turned country-folk musician, Tristen Bird, has officially launched The Melbourne School of Ukulele in Prahran to help provide an outlet for individuals struggling with stress, low self-esteem and anxiety.
Based on Chapel Street, the school is co-operated by Ebonie Hyland and provides an outlet for Melburnians to combat modern-day stress through the soothing sounds of the ukulele in a fun interactive group environment.
Having witnessed other musicians fall prey to exhaustive schedules and critical reviews, The Melbourne School of Ukulele is based on Tristen’s positive relationship with music and his success with increasing self-esteem and balance through instrumental play.
According to the 2011 Stress and Wellbeing Survey by The Australian Psychological Society, almost 32% of Australians (one in three) experience depressive symptoms due to financial, personal and health related issues. The study found that 55% of surveyed respondents used music as a way to manage and reduce stress levels.
With alternative therapies, such as meditation, incorporating music to help restore mental and emotional harmony, Tristen wanted to use his 20-year experience as a singer-songwriter and producer, to give Melburnians a creative outlet for their stress.
“The ukulele is a fun instrument and a great way for people to discover the soothing and healing properties of music,” said Tristen. “With society now demanding more and more of people, the school is designed to give Melburnians an outlet, learn a new skill and make new friends.:
Supported by a number of esteemed industry professionals including Victoria Vox and Jane Cameron, The Melbourne School of Ukulele appeared at this year’s Melbourne Ukulele Festival (March 2015) and is currently developing a range of community workshops for the Geelong City Council.
Image: Tristen Bird