We catch up with Liesbeth Tip to find out about her latest research project, which looks at the mental health and well-being benefits of singing in a choir specifically for young people aged 12-21 . . .

What is Take Note! Youth Choir and why was it set up?
The choir was set up in June as part of a research project I'm running in partnership with the Just Festival, which aims to investigate how singing in a choir can impact on well-being and develop a sense of community and connectedness in young people.

This follows on from a previous research project that I started in 2016 on the benefits of singing in a choir for mental health and mental health awareness (for more info see www.harmonychoir.com) - this project showed that singing in a choir immediately improves your sense of well-being, enjoyment and connectedness with others, and that singing with people from different mental health backgrounds reduces stigmatising attitudes.

Who is part of the choir?  
Most of our members have some singing experience, but how much varies - quite a few of the young people have only ever sung in a primary school choir before and range from 12-19 years. We have now rehearsed all our songs and it's sounding really good, better every week! We've had some great feedback from participants so far, people are really enjoying themselves and like the modern repertoire we are working with.

Can people still join?
Yes! We are really keen for more people to join us and be part of our upcoming performances on 3, 4 and 24 August. Even if you can only make one of the performances, we'd love to hear from you.

The choir rehearse twice a week on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 6.30-8pm in Edinburgh city centre. There is no cost to join and no auditioning, just email [email protected] to sign up. 

What performances you have coming up?
Take Note! will do their first public performance at the Just Festival on the 3 and 4 August - tickets are free but must be booked, more details here. On the 24 August we will be joining the Harmony Choir for their Edinburgh Fringe Festival show 'Find your Way' - more information and booking here.

What's next for the Take Note Choir?
We have a workshop weekend with a show scheduled for the 13 and 14 of October - this will be open to all and we plan on doing separate workshops for young people (12-21 years) and adults (18 and over), which will culminate with an end of weekend performance.

For more information on Take Note! and this research project, contact Liesbeth at [email protected]. You can also connect with Take Note! on Facebook.