Sound in Mental Wellness

Hello!! My name is Dani, I’m a senior majoring in Arts and Entertainment Technologies, and I’m part of the Mental Wellness team of the Waller Creek Earth Day project. 

The first few weeks of this project was mainly to plan what we wanted to do and represent. After organizing our ideas, we split into smaller teams to complete more specific tasks.

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I am working with my team to:

  • Develop a ‘Sound Garden’ on campus, offering a place to relax and enjoy nature;
  • Organize community yoga and meditation events to promote our installation, improve mental wellness within UT, and above all, celebrate our natural world;
  • And lastly, create an audio collage filled with all of the Earth Day promises from the UT/Austin community as a symbol of unity

We dived straight into it~

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As the project grew, ideas adapted into new ones, and into newer ones~

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And things started to solidify~

A person standing in front of a stove

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A group of people in a room

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As of now, we have:

  • Planned out the audio system and prepped the sound equipment for the ‘Sound Garden’ and nest installation;
  • Created the connections we need to carry out our community events;
  • And began our collection of Earth Day promises from our family and friends

The Mental Wellness team met up with many UT mental wellness resources, specifically the MindBody Lab, to help us form the plan of creating our ‘Sound Garden’. We learned that everyone has different styles of what they listen to for relaxation, so we decided to each create our own pieces for the ‘Sound Garden’. I used mallet instruments, accompanied by a synth pad. I also added a grass ambience to merge into the sounds of Waller Creek. Here’s a small sample of what I created:

With Earth Day on my mind and a lot of time spent social distancing, an opportunity presented itself to reflect on ways I could help my environment. I started making a list.

My Earth Day promise is to:

  • Use more reusable containers
  • Take shorter showers
  • Use the bus more
  • Use bars of soap instead of body wash
  • Stop forgetting my reusable bags when I go to the grocery store
  • Learn how to recycle properly (I get confused sometimes)
  • Wash my clothes in cold water
  • Composting, as a hobby?

I digress.

Things to look forward to in our transition to an online Earth Month:

  • sounds of the Creek Monster lurking the Internet through videos and other social media posts;
  • and videos/other resources of yoga and meditation to increase mental wellness in these isolating times

There are many ideas in the air, and I can’t wait to share them.

Stay safe,

Dani

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