Posted in art and healing

Sing…Sing a Song

Welcome to Art and Healing Wednesday!!

I love music.  I can’t imagine my life without music.  I rely on music for entertainment, but I also rely on music for emotional expression.  I listen to certain types of music when I’m in a certain mood or engaged in a particular activity.  I find that it soothes my soul and no I’m not a savage beast.  When I need it to, music energizes me so I can continue a project I’m trying to complete (I listen to disco in my studio…the beat keeps me moving).

There has been a lot of research on how music impacts healing.  Think of books written by Don Campbell like The Mozart Effect.  Oliver Saks wrote a book titled Musicophilia, reflecting on the impact of music on the brain.  That’s on the clinical level and I’m referring to music as a reflection of your personal story.  There are times when songwriters capture a phrase or an emotion that I couldn’t verbalize but feel deep in my soul and I need to express.

It makes me think about the comedian Tracy Ulllman.  Ullman had a short stint on the television show Ally McBeal.  She played McBeal’s therapist.  During one of the therapy sessions Ullman’s character encouraged McBeal to come up with a theme song.  The idea was that the song would be something that would reflect how she’s experiencing the world.  As I consider this idea I think about why do television shows have theme songs.  The concept is to get the viewer to begin having a particular experience before the show even begins.  It sets the stage and puts the viewer in a certain frame of mind.

How would it work if you had a theme song?  It would be something that would reflect your state-of-mind, or a characteristic you want the world to know about.  If you’re considering a theme song don’t limit yourself to just one.  Consider how you might create different moods or messages with different theme songs.  These theme songs are great for reinforcing a belief or a goal.  It can reflect a sense of purpose or be the soap box upon which you stand.

Following the diagnosis of a chronic or life-threatening illness, having the capacity to express yourself authentically and openly is good for your health.  Doing it musically is often less threatening and who knows; you may even get others to sing along!