A Richard Taunton teacher has released a song with his band to raise money for a mental health charity.
Sam Adams, Teacher of Music at the college, formed Gold Steppers with his friends during the first lockdown.
‘We were not able to meet together, so we had to adapt. We relied heavily on Zoom meetings and sending parts we recorded to one band member to mix. In a positive way, this focused us and we decided to carry on.’
The band’s music celebrates the golden era of ska and reggae, but their ultimate aim is to spread a positive message. Their tunes are available to listen to online, with fans paying what they want to download digital tracks. Proceeds from their most recent single – ‘At Christmas (We’re Never Alone)’ – will be donated to a Portsmouth-based charity.
Tonic Music for Mental Health aims to raise mental health awareness, challenge stigma and promote mental wellbeing through music and the arts. It is a cause that Sam is keen to support:
‘This charity makes me reflect on how demanding and challenging the music industry can be on mental health. Although there are organisations such as the Musicians Union, the industry is often unregulated. I can relate to the challenge professional musicians face, especially in terms of anxiety they might feel as a result of social media pressure.’
The Music & Performing Arts department at Richard Taunton is staffed by experienced subject specialists who are able to draw from a range of professional experiences. Sam recognises how his involvement with the music industry influences his teaching:
‘Every experience, whether it is recording an album or a large scale performance, allows me to provide my students with current scenarios and background knowledge. It shows the students that they are studying and progressing towards a very real destination.’