I’ve just written a piece in the forthcoming Healing Plan (yes, I am still writing it!) about music and its importance in your healing, er, plan.
At various stages, music of different types became very important to me. I knew when I was really depressed and ill because I couldn’t bear to listen to music. I still find that works today as an indicator when stress is getting to me. I realise I’ve not had the radio on for a few days or something – that’s normally the first sign.
Then, at other stages, I needed extremely calming music, inspirational music, dance music to lose myself to, the sound of a piano to soothe me, nostalgic music from various stages of my life when I was either traumatised or happy. In short, I used music a lot to help me along the path to healing.
One of my favourite things when I was teaching my Sparkle Programme (for people who’d lost theirs!) was to make students sit or lie down and listen to a multi-layered piece of music and try to follow one strand/layer all the way through and ignore the rest. This is like a kind of meditation when you can’t meditate, if you like. I find it incredibly powerful and, thankfully, so did they. It takes practice but the practice is actually the meditation, if you see what I mean.
And it doesn’t have to be classical music either, unless that floats your boat.
Most often, in class and personally, I used one of my favourite bands: Leftfield! In fact, the Leftism album has followed me around in life: from lying on the floor with my partner at the time in complete darkness just experiencing it for the first time, to using a track from it to set scrolling images in a presentation to motivate staff when I had a ‘proper’ job at British Gas as a PR for a couple of years, to it creating a joyous feeling whenever I listen to it in the sun, to today writing to it often! It simply makes me dance in my head. Try it – its dance music but give it a go.
A softer piece of music – which I may in fact get married to next year! – is the soundtrack from The Piano by Michael Nuyman. I’m sure it is based on something by a different composer but I don’t know who – if you do, please let me know! Whatever, it gets me in my heart every time. I use it often to bring stuck emotions to the surface and it invariably leaves me feeling better and smiling – even if through tears.
Ok, so how did I get onto this subject?!
I saw this interesting piece from Yasmina on Music Therapy and it set me off. And, as I say, I had just written a bit about music in my own ‘journey’ in the Healing Plan. It’s a tough write this time but ultimately very satisfying as I pull together the strands of what helped and what didn’t. Though I say it myself, I am quite proud of myself for both doing it and being objective enough to analyse it for you to get something from, I hope!
Anyway, go and read Yasmina’s piece here too: