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!