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Transition can induce anxiety - it is the period of change from one state to another. For some children the daily transition from home to school is fraught – imagine your child vomiting before school every day. Because anxiety is often a hidden disability we look to the triggers for behaviour incidents. A report by Nancy Rappaport about anxiety in students lists the top six triggers.

  1. Unstructured times – lunch and recess

  2. Transitions

  3. Writing tasks

  4. Tests and evaluations

  5. Social demands

  6. Novel events/unexpected change

It seems that a transitional ceremony would be useful to limit or ease anxiety. According to Ellen Dissanayake the genesis of art can be found in ceremony, art is a tool of social cohesion, traditional art is practical and functional. She says that ceremonies are times of transition when everyone participates. Dissanayake speaks from the viewpoint of an anthropologist who has spent fifteen years observing culture in Nigeria, Sri Lanka and Papua New Guinea. She observes that a ceremony is a multi-media art production combining dance, song, poetry, costume and painting – today’s weddings are an example of a modern ceremony that adheres to these traditions. Rituals are “the impulse to do something in the face of anxiety”, so you’ll find that a whole village chants through a storm or recall that the orchestra continued to play as the Titanic sank.

These ideas of Dissanayake speak to my deep interest in society and to the seeming prevalence of anxiety. “I suggest that what we call music provided humans with unique cognitive and emotional satisfactions that require the cooperation of others and may supercede the narrow self-interest that characterizes so many behaviors of humans and other animals.”

These words help to prove the concept of Mindsettle – that combining gentle images of nature with music can have a soothing effect.

If you’d like to see a sample, email

Ellen Dissanayake, an independent scholar focusing on "the anthropological exploration of art and culture".

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