There’s great potential to encourage happiness using Music…
Despite always having a deep love for music, especially the Rock’n’Roll of the 60s, I’ve never had too much skill with emulating the heroes of my youth.
The 1960s were a wonderful time for creativity and burgeoning ambition, a time when the American Dream was truly alive and well.
With the rise of blues music, young boys and girls all across the US (and indeed the rest of the world) were beginning to pick up instruments.
They started out playing simple ditties and rhymes that had been developed and popularised by the subjugated African American population, unwittingly passing on the torch for thousands of tortured souls.
I was no different to any of these kids. Although I had little time to hone my musical skills, in between playing Football, studying and hanging out with my friends – I always felt a strong emotional bond to those that played Music.
I cherished the feeling of well being that listening and playing the music encouraged in me. Although my parents didn’t quite understand the intense fascination that I had with bands such as the Animals and the 13th Floor Elevators – they understood the positive effect that music could have on the psyche and never discouraged my exploration of other musical genres.
Literature may well enlighten the mind, but it takes an intense amount of concentration and hours of study. Film is a wonderful distraction, whose lights and sounds can elevate the viewer almost to the state of an out of body experience – but cinematic representations of life can often misconstrue and confuse, rather than provide clarification in times of need. An appreciation for music, however, is hardwired into our very sense of being. The rhythm of even the most simple tune can easily be traced by any person – even a child with no music experience whatsoever.
The effect of music on a single mind is almost hypnotic.
Played in a quiet, slightly darkened room, with little space for distraction – the mind can become one with the notes and rhythm. Given time, all doubt, fear and negativity can slowly be eradicated from the mind, as the tune and beat becomes the only thing that occupies the listener’s conscious thoughts. This is the effect of simply listening to the music, when the listener becomes an active participant in the aural space – that’s when the magic really starts to happen.
It can be as simple as tapping one’s feet or clapping one’s hand – the pure joy that fills the body with becoming one with the music (even in the most minor way) can foster not only a sense of community within groups of people, but help lift sadness and boost self-esteem. I would never claim to be the next Jimi Hendrix (although I’ve probably been playing guitar longer than he ever got the chance to!) however, I’m always happy to offer basic guitar lessons to anyone who may think that they could benefit from it.
Learning to play a musical instrument is an accomplishment that sits on many people’s Bucket List – many feel that it’s simply an unreachable goal – something that they could never really achieve, due to their inherent lack of ‘musical ability’.
The sense of satisfaction and joy that emanates from someone eclipsing their own expectations has to be seen (or felt) to be believed.
Why not give it a try?