When I was in school I used music for a few different reasons:
1. To escape from my parents. I would turn the record player on in my room (or even better play music at my friends house) and we would just sit there together…not talking….and just let the Bee Gees wash over us.
2. To feel a part of group. Joining the band and choir was all about connecting with people…it brought all us music geeks together – under one comfortable umbrella.
3. To feel good. Essentially this is what music has always been for me – a burst of happiness. Whether I am singing alone, with others, or watching someone feeling inspired by music themselves I tend to feel better then I did the 5 minutes before.
Now as a music therapist I help people use music for the same reasons and a few more….Here is just a sample of our client’s goals for 2013:
1. Feel in a 30% better mood at the end of my work day.
2. Improve my breath control – enough to say a full sentence without taking a break – their first full sentence since their stroke.
3. Remember the names of my immediate family members through the haze of early Alzheimer’s Disease.
4. Focus on one task for longer than 3 minutes.
January is a time for goal setting – and music can help you reach these goals. How do you want it to help you? The answer will be unique and different for each person – fortunately for all of us there is a lot of different music and a lot of different ways to apply it.
Jennifer Buchanan, BMT, MTA is the happy owner of JB Music Therapy and Author of TUNE IN: Use Music Intentionally to Curb Stress, Boost Morale and Restore Health. Our “Music Speaks” Blog aims to inspire you to use music with greater intention and knowledge and to hire us as required or purchase our products.