Picking up the bass guitar and singing means much more than just making music for Jo Maria.

The Braybrook songwriter has found a peace and contentment that previously eluded her by playing music and writing songs.

As part of Schizophrenia Awareness Week activities later this month, Ms Maria will perform and lead workshops at which she will mentor other budding songwriters.

She said the experience of being involved in music again had tapped back into a love from earlier in her life.

“I have a music degree from 30 years ago at VCA, but I didn’t want to spend all my life playing hour after hour of classical guitar by myself,” she said.

“I got mentally very unwell and had some hard times, but I took up bass guitar 12 months ago and absolutely love it.”

She will share what she’s learnt as part of the free “Schizy Week Jam Bam! Big Art Muster” series of workshops in Heidelberg West next Wednesday, ahead of a performance on Friday.

“They want me to do four or five of the songs I’ve written over the past 12 months,” she said.

Both events will be held in the Bell Street Mall from 11am-2pm on Wednesday, May 11, and from 2-5pm on Friday, May 13. Details: www.schizyjam.org