This past Tuesday night, May 09, 2023, a concert and panel discussion to bring awareness to the issue of teen mental health was held at the Ethical Culture Fieldston School in the Bronx. The event was created and organized by Ariana Sidman, a sophomore at the high school.
Ariana, an accomplished pianist, performed both solo and with her band of talented teen musicians two sets of songs themed around mental health including Coldplay’s “Fix You” and “Goodbye Yellow Brick Road” by Elton John and Bernie Taupin.
In the attached photo from left to right are Ariana Sidman on piano and vocals, Merrick Brannigan on acoustic guitar and vocals, Raf Katchen on drums, Micah Katchen on electric guitar and Cole Corper on vocals and bass guitar.
In between the sets, Ariana invited two child psychiatrists, Dr. Ramon Burgos and Dr. Hannah Simon, both Assistant Professors of Psychiatry at Weill Cornell Medical College, to speak about teen mental health, signs to look for and how family and friends can best support their loved ones. Ariana solicited questions from the Fieldston community beforehand and then she posed the questions to the doctors and moderated the panel discussion.
There were over 50 people who attended the event in person in addition to 81 people who logged on to join via the Live Stream that was set up for the concert.
Being a musician herself, Ariana is especially attuned to the mental health needs of artists and she encouraged attendees to donate to Creatives Care, a New York City based non-profit that provides high-quality, affordable, and accessible mental health treatment to artists.
Ariana is a classically trained pianist and jazz enthusiast and has composed a variety of pieces, impromptus, and songs of all genres. She wrote her first piano sonata at the age of 12 and started composing at the age of eight. Ariana is interested in the medical field and wants to pursue this passion in college. She is an advocate for mental health and has been volunteering at the Creatives Care organization for the past year. In addition to her musical background, Ariana is a competitive soccer player who values the hard work and dedication that coincide with any sport.
Since May is Mental Health Awareness Month, Ariana’s goal for this event which was to touch and connect with the audience through music while simultaneously raising awareness for mental health and helping to foster conversations about the topic.