I have grown up around music, and have grown to appreciate and love music from classical to some heavy metal, to pop, jazz, and everything in between. This appreciation was fostered in me when at secondary school I became a musician, playing for the school bands, touring to different states, and taking music as a VCE subject, which has been totally useless in my adult life, but at the time seemed right, or what my Mother pushed me to do.
From Year 9 through to the end of Year 12 I had the privilege of being taught and mentored by Mr Wilson, head of the music department. As well as being the kindest, dearest man I have ever met, his love, and life for music was an inspiration to everyone that learnt from him. While very strict in hitting every night exactly right, which sometimes I failed to do in a solo, and in presenting musicians of a high class, he brought music to the forefront of my mind, and it remains there today.
Your probably wondering why I am writing about music in a blog about depression. Well it is my love of music, my appreciation for hearing it is every note and word, that has seen me get through some of my darkest days, brought me to relaxation in times of stress, and when my mind just won’t stop.
It doesn’t have to be any particular kind of music, some self-help books and personal encourage the mediation style of music to help in these times, but it doesn’t have to be listening to the ocean, or birds, whales, or any other natural scene. It is music that you find enjoyable, that can take you to that peaceful place, make you turn at the intersection towards recovery.
For me, I have a number of different singers, bands, and styles of music that I like to listen to when I find myself on edge. Some are ballads, some rock, and some are meditation music, which most of the time I find boring, but does the trick in getting to reach a relaxed state of mind, and takes me to a different place.
I think, even the most avid music lovers, and those who work in the music industry, often take for granted the power of music. So if you find yourself on edge, particularly nervous, anxious, or your mind is going a million miles an hour, put your headphones in, and start playing some of your favourite music, or upload a mediation App for your iPod, or have a cd pumping loudly out of the stereo…whatever the way you feel most comfortable listening to your music, use it as a tool to escape the depression, and anxiety that can take over our life.
To learn more on the power of music to combat depression, and anxiety, visit the American Music Therapy Association.