As a Mum of three girls, I wasn’t sure how I was going to be during this interview as I knew Mark and his wife had to make a heart-breaking decision regarding their first baby
At their baby Laurie’s twenty week scan they discovered that she had two rare and fatal conditions which meant that she wouldn’t survive full term and were faced with the difficult decision of continuing with the pregnancy
Mark is an online piano coach, best-selling author and helping use music to improve mental health for twenty-five years
He has spent more than twenty yearsworking as a musical director, pianist, arranger and teacher, and has built a really diverse group of musicians as a client base. From artists such as Faye Tozer of Steps to black metal bands Winterfylleth (a band Mark ended up joining!) and Drudkh.
He has given Lenny Henry piano lessons, and written versions of songs by metal stars Sonata Arctica for symphony orchestra and choir.
Mark’s extensive work as a musical director has included everything from choirs for the BBC, Magic Radio, and his own Sing United, to music theatre shows such as West Side Story and The Sound of Music.
He has conducted the Royal Northern Sinfonia and written string parts for Japanese post rock legends Mono. He has previous clients around the world including France, Canada, Finland and Holland, and has even co-written and toured a comedy musical with the BBC’s Alfie Joey.
Some key points from our interview:
· How he discovered that everything could change in a moment
· How he really struggles with the word “Termination”
· How he discovered that no men speak about losing a baby in this way
· How it took his wife, Angela, and himself nine months to find a support specifically for TFMR (termination for medical reasons)
· How he had to apply all the well being tips he gives to his music clients to himself, when he started experiencing panic attacks
· How he now uses his lived experience to help other men to speak out about mental health
· How it has reinforced that music is a therapy
You can get more info about Mark here:
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"Unbroken: Healing Through Storytelling" features individuals who have all triumphed after adversity and have not just bounced back in life, but forward and are now making a difference for others.
You can find out more about Madeleine, her story and her memoir, Unbroken, from her website: https://madeleineblack.co.uk/
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