MUSIC AS THERAPY
The world of music is a rich source of materials for personal inspiration, mindfulness exercises and for inclusion in relaxation and visualization sessions. Each person’s experience of music is unique. I will share a few of my experiences with you today and give you some suggestions as to how you might use music as therapy.
Note that I have talked about being mindfully aware and mindfulness in recent posts.
MUSIC AS THERAPY: SONG LYRICS
I love poetry and the lyrics of many songs are poems. Sometimes just one line in a song can become for me a statement that I find helpful to recall when times are difficult. The following YouTube shows Damian McGinty singing “Come By the Hills”. Damian is a member of the group “Celtic Thunder” and comes from Northern Ireland. Part of the song is sung in Gaelic. The line that comes to my mind is:
“…and the cares of tomorrow can wait ’til this day is done.”
I love the Irish countryside and I love Irish music, music of so many different moods; thus the world of Irish music and my memories are a great source of food for my “soul” and wellbeing.
THINK ABOUT WHAT MUSIC IS GOOD FOR YOUR WELLBEING AND MAKE TIME TO LISTEN TO IT WHILE BEING MINDFULLY AWARE.
I love “Danny Boy”, the quintessential sad Irish song, a song that made my grandmother cry. In the following YouTube is sung by the contemporary Irish tenor Paul Byrom.
MUSIC AS THERAPY: MINDFULNESS AND MEDITATION
This piece of music is By Arvo Part and is called “Spiegel im Spiegel” (Mirror in Mirror). Anne Akiko Meyers plays the violin and Reiko Uchida plays the piano. I used to play the violin and this is a beautiful piece.
Meditative music like this can help you to relax or practice mindfulness:
MUSIC AS THERAPY: BEAUTY AND INSPIRATION
I love the song “Amazing Grace” and I like the French language; put the two together and the results can be exquisite. I attended a children’s Christian mass at a church in a small French village. I understood little of what was going on! However, a very young woman unexpectedly started singing “Amazing Grace” in French. One does not have to be deeply religious to appreciate such beauty. I was enchanted and that was a moment in time when I was mindfully aware. That was one of the rich moments in my life.
A few months later I witnessed the results of the Paris bombings on television. I was deeply moved. On the following YouTube photographs taken in Paris are shown while “Amazing Grace” is sung. The sadness of the occasion and the sadness of the song are powerful. There can be beauty and inspiration as well as devastation in sadness.
MUSIC AS THERAPY: FIND WHAT KIND OF MUSIC HELPS YOU TO RELAX
What kind of music helps you relax? Make time to sit or lie in a comfortable position and listen to it. I have a friend who listens to music at night with the lights off; that minimizes distractions. For relaxation I generally choose “classical music”. One of my favorites is Franz Schubert’s Notturno in E flat major, Op. 148, D.897. In the following Youtube this music is played by the “Suk Trio” with Josef Suk playing the violin, Jan Panenka the piano and Josef Chuchro the cello.
Another favorite is Beethoven’s “Moonlight Sonata” for piano.The version in the following YouTube has the sounds of waves in the background. This piece lasts for about an hour. Close your eyes and imagine yourself walking along a moonlit beach or some other peaceful scene…or just relax and listen!
For me this blog post would be incomplete without giving you something to listen to by Mozart. The Andante from the following Piano Concerto No 21 in C major, K. 467 was used in the 1967 Swedish film “Elvira Madigan”. It is exquisite. Relax and let it carry you away!
Explore your world of music and find what is good for your “soul” and wellbeing. Use your choices as music for therapy.