Just adding my thoughts on Beckie’s post
July 31, 2019 “Working on Us” This Weeks Mental Health Prompts for Blogging Community: Week 9 Topic: Music Therapy, How Does Music Affect You?
My choice to listen to is varied, but I have enjoyed Nat King Cole, Moody Blues, Pink Floyd, The Carpenters, Mike Oldfield, Il Divo, Dido, Diana Ross, Michael Jackson, Abba, Susan Boyle, Andy Williams, Phil Collins and Leona Lewis to name just a few.
But when I have been stressed, anxious or worried, my own music has been my safety valve.
My Dad would always say he knew when I had something on my mind as it wasn’t what I played that gave me away, but the way I played it. I have several ‘set pieces’ I use for exercises, such as The Spirit is Willing, Ode to Joy and My Grandfather’s Clock, as these can be uptempo or relaxed depending on my mood. Changing the odd chord from major to minor can alter the entire melody, and I used to do that a lot too, slowing things down and emphasising different phrases of a chosen piece.
I have a natural gift of being able to play by ear, which is inherited from my father and possibly my maternal grandmother who played by what was known as ‘soh, fah, te’ .
My Mum could only play by reading music, and my sister found it very difficult so gave up. I don’t think she plays anything now unless she decided to keep Mum’s piano when she died.
I have been told my music has brought a lot of pleasure to a lot of people, and although I play more for myself, if someone wants to listen then that’s OK.
Thirty two years ago my music was my lifeline.
It was the one good thing I liked about myself when I was putting my life back together with the help of a good GP and a caring boss. Things were going down the toilet and I was following them.
I distinctly remember getting up in the early hours, plugging in my headphones and playing, of all things, hymns I remembered from school.
I am not a religious person per se, I believe in something that is greater than all of us, and that when this life finishes, there is something else where we are united with our loved ones. I do not knock anyone’s faith as I know first hand of someone whose faith got them out of being bedridden for 26 years and living to be 104.
I played for at least two hours, and in that time, I felt someone was beside me, looking out for me, and letting me know I was not alone in my time of despair.
On only two occasions has my music made me cry.
Once was about eight years ago when I feel I was at the top of my game sotospeak and was playing the best I ever had, or ever will. The other was when I sat at the keyboard and played The Wind Beneath My Wings at the time I knew my Mum’s ashes were being scattered. It was her favourite piece and I played it for her whenever we were together.
Don’t laugh, but Maggie (our dog) was brought up with a specific CD of instrumentals and still falls asleep to it before the end of track three. We have used it to help calm her in thunderstorms or when there have been local fireworks.
Music has, and always will be, an important part of my life. Although I was never given it as therapy when going through my depression, it was certainly therapeutic when I needed something constructive and positive as a foundation for rebuilding my life and making me the person I am now.