Understanding How Music Can Help You Connect With Yourself
Music is life. Let me say it again, music is life and life is interesting and unique to each of us. What do I mean by that? Our connection with music is innate, music can help you connect with yourself. We are born with rhythmic movement and spatial understanding. Life is interesting. Each day comes with its own set of joys, sorrows, challenges and big wins…an emotional roller coaster set by what is around us and how we think and feel. The same can be said for each person that walks this planet. We are all individuals, one of a kind, wondrously made with strengths and weaknesses that mirror no other. How are humankind, its creation and existence influenced and connected through music? Think in these terms, each song, sonata, symphony is a combination of notes that are brought together in a series or pattern that create a story or narrative that gives the listener or musician a snapshot in time. Memories are built on the same principle and as our experiences grow, the collection of sounds and narratives grow as well.
Music encourages self exploration: Noise, it is all around you. The daily sounds of life: alarms, schedules, obligations mixed with requests, comments, criticisms, not to mention the thoughts and commentary you have running through your own head. It is hard to filter out all the auditory stimulation, breathe and be at peace. We are in an age where we are wired to be informed, contacted, influenced and in touch 24/7. We lose ourselves in the instant gratification of social media, YouTube videos and gaming, putting our best face forward for the world to see. We lose touch with ourselves, becoming more drawn to becoming what the world expects, what is socially acceptable and desired. Music encourages self exploration, to connect with our subconscious, memories and deepest thoughts. It allows us to connect to other humans on an emotional and spiritual level that can sometimes be hindered by language, culture and distance. As a universal language, music communicates to the inner being,
Here is a question to ponder…does a song truly end? Well, to the theorist, the answer would be “Yes”…when you reach the double bar lines at the end of written music (this is your period or exclamation point if you were writing). While structurally true, I don’t think music or songs truly have an ending – much like life. We can get into the great debate that life has two definitive occurrences; death and taxes; and the destination of the soul is based on your internal belief systems. Well, life is ever changing based on the environment one finds themselves and so is music. As a universal language, music speaks to the soul, and the influence of each is mutual. What you think, your mood, your situation/circumstance, environment will influence what you listen to. The same can be said for how music is created. You can join GMA Making A Band program to learn music theory, song writing and marketing and branding to not only enjoy and learn music intricacies but to find your own space in the broader music spectrum.
Think about how composers create…it is based on mood, thoughts, situations/circumstances and environment. Physical illness, mental illness, loss and addiction: the series of centralized themes found amongst the world renowned composers such as Mozart, Schumann, Beethoven, Tchaikovsky. I had a conversation recently about creativity, composition and mental health with a local mental health provider. We talked about the work and studies by Dr. Richard Kogan and Dr. William A. Frosch, two psychiatrists that have looked at creativity and mental mindset within the most famous composers across Baroque, Classical and Romantic eras. Dr. Kogan is unique essentially because he is a classically trained pianist that went on to become a well-known and respected psychiatrist. I would highly recommend reading some of his work and presentations to get a better understanding of how brain structure, environment and mood disorders have generated some of the most famous musical works of art. I have provided a link to one of the articles that highlight this work Creativity and Mental Illness: Richard Kogan on Rachmaninoff.
What I constantly remind myself is there are good and not so good elements to people and it is when the not so good comes out. HOW it comes out will give you a true indication of character and where a person is in their life’s journey. The same can be said for music – is it an expression of someone’s positive experiences, thoughts and beliefs: love, joy, passion, elation, gratitude or is it an expression of negative disappointments: anger, disappointment, depression, anxiety or heartache? Because we live our lives day to day with twists and turns, our song is never truly complete. It is a symphony that writes itself minute by minute…daily. And, though some will debate this with me, after our physical form is no longer present, it is the memories we created with children, friends, family and others that continue to write our song. Life is truly an unfinished symphony that continues on through the generations. What does your symphony speak about you? Want to learn basic audio engineering, here is a course for you.
Take a moment…how can you connect with yourself through music? Find a comfortable spot where you can mentally and physically relax and choose music that matches your current mood. Sit, listen and close your eyes. Take note of where your mind wanders, do you “see the music”, is there a flashback of a memory, do you see colors or scenes that flash by? Take note of how your body reacts, do you feel more relaxed, tense, energized?
Tell me in the comments below what a difference this exercise and blog has made in the way you view music’s influence and impact on connecting with your inner self. Want to know more about what a difference music lessons can have on your quality of life and mental health? Call us at 410-286-5505 or Contact Us.