There’s More to Music…Than You Think – Part 2
Views From A Guitar Playing Music Writer and ADHD Sufferer
Music may well be among the first of my memories. I have a vivid recollection of sitting in a booth in a restaurant in the early sixties. I would have been less than four years old, but I remember that there was one of those table-top jukebox selectors on our table. My mother stuck a nickle into the slot (yes, a nickle, it was the sixties and a dime would buy a gallon of gas back then) and played The Singing Nuns 1963 hit, “Dominique.” What I learned that day in seeing my mother smile as she listened to her new favourite was that if I could make music I could please my mother. My life has been a quest, in one way or another, to please my mother. And so I’ve made music a large, though largely unprofessional, part of my life. It brings me the same happiness it brought her. But how?
There is an unknown strength in music; it helps us feel less alone when our hearts are broken, keeps us company when we are alone, and gives us common purpose in groups at parties and dances.
When we are suffering in sorrow or grief, we need to feel companionship or camaraderie. There is so much truth in the adage “misery loves company.” And music makes us feel like we are not suffering alone. Let me explain, the lyricist’s task is to write of emotion in the fewest possible words. This gives the listener enough to feel the emotion of the song but often leaves the details up for interpretation. Even when specifics are provided, the listener feels that the performer at least understands their feelings. Whatever the cause, the performer is singing of or playing through, the same pain the listener is enduring. What better empathy than to hear your own feelings echoed back to you, telling you that you are not alone, that this too will pass, that, as Dido says, “The Sun Will Rise Again.”
I’ve learned, however, that the creation of music is just as therapeutic, though maybe in a different way. Just as talking about your problems with an unaffected party such as a therapist can help you work through them, so too can writing about those problems. Prose and poetry are good for this type of self-therapy, but music lets you express your feelings more fully. Music offers the additional dimensions of tempo, melody and dynamics for the expression of your inner thoughts. While some may find that this complicates the exercise of professing your emotions, others find that it gives more opportunity to define the circumstance that their thoughts, their words should be perceived in.
Writing music, for me, is like talking to the therapist within. It gives me the chance to explore my feelings and thoughts within the safety of my own mind. Often, sharing the results afterwards, is as cathartic as writing the music.
Depression, love, grief, joy and loss can all be normalized and assimilated into ones life through musical expression. Whether the music is a popular piece created by someone else, or an unknown expression written by oneself, music has the potential to reach places within ourselves that need to be explored.
Throughout my life, before my diagnosis and still since that day, music has played a roll in making me feel healthy. My performing of music, and more so, my writing of music has given my inner self solace and comfort when none could readily be found elsewhere in my world. Many people will tell you that ADHD promotes creativity. Many will go so far as to say that creativity is a symptom of ADHD. I choose not to have an opinion on that, wishing instead to wait for proof one way or the other. But, whether it is a symptom or not, or whether it is something in between, creativity is mine and I choose to use it in the form of musical creation. And I choose to use that musical creation to soothe my soul and spirit, to bring joy and a feeling of well being to my life, and to share that with others. What could be healthier than that? I could not say.
Wrapping Things Up
You can see that as two keen writers we are also two lovers of listening to music and creating musical expression. We have found music to be anchoring in times of distress and calming in times of pain. We have found that the variety in music can be uplifting. It can deal with grief, depression, ADHD, schizophrenia and other states of being. Then, above all else writing music is a higher calling that we both answer to and share with others.
Posted on November 19, 2012, in Balance, Emotions, Happiness, Self Esteem and Positivity, mental health, New Age Psychology, Out there, Relationships and tagged alternatives to medication, anger management, crisis management, empowerment, meaning, mental health, music, music appreciation, music therapy, musical expression, positive thinking, purpose, self-knowledge. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.