Music and Mind

Mental Health Support for people working in the music industry
Music Minds Matter is a mental health service launched in December 2017 by Help Musicians UK.
Help Musicians UK is the the largest independent music charity and provider of health and welfare support for the British music industry – they carried out study in May 2016 which identified that people in the music industry are three times more likely to suffer from anxiety, depression and other related problems. They have initiated a £100,000 Mental Health Fund to provide a 24/7 mental health helpline and service that combines listening, advice and signposting with clinical, medical, therapeutic and welfare support for those who need it. The helpline went live in December 2017. Help Musicians UK is committed to campaigning, educating, and encouraging conversations about mental and emotional wellbeing. For more information on Music Minds Matter check out the website. For support or to talk to someone call 0808 802 8008 free of charge, 24/7.

Turning to Music

Turning to music can have a massive impact on mental health  – Music is such a powerful form of communication and self expression  – it‘s a universal language that trancends age, culture, background, gender, ability and life experiences. The more we engage with music in ways that help us as regularly as we can  –  the more benefits we feel. Know that there is a wealth of music that will be there for you through anything – that‘s what music is for. Music can help increase our levels of oxytocin and dopamine (happy hormones and release endorphins – and decrease cortisol (stress).

This is a fantastic article published by MIND written by Laura  – it explains really well how listening to music and making music helped her mental health.

“I love the quote “Music speaks when words fail.” Music did speak to me when I couldn’t express into words how I felt. I’m lucky that I have the ability to make my music. For anyone looking for a coping strategy, definitely keep music in mind. Music did help make me the person I wanted to be; happy, more confident, not as scared and anxious, and most importantly at peace with my mental health.”

Turn to Music…

  1. Set aside dedicated time and space for music
  2. Discover and create a playlist of music to listen to that reflects how you’re feeling
  3. Reflect on music and the emotions you connect with
  4. Create a playlists of music that expresses an intention – listen to it, sing or play it, dance along – find fresh intentions through it.
  5. Make, listen and talk about music with others – You might like to spend your own individual time with music or why not also join a local group and create music with others – is a good resource for local groups.

Helping others through music  Music therapy can help people with a range of emotional disorders and mental illness and can impact fundamentally on the way people live their lives.  Individual sessions can help to address problems rooted in the past, as in psychotherapy, with the medium for communication being predominantly improvised music. Group work can be helpful as a means of exploring relationships and be a source of mutual support, reducing isolation and leading to greater self understanding.
Music plays an important role in our everyday lives. It can be exciting or calming, joyful or poignant, can stir memories and powerfully resonate with our feelings, helping us to express them and to communicate with others.

Music therapy uses these qualities and the musical components of rhythm, melody and tonality to provide a means of relating within a therapeutic relationship. In music therapy, people work with a wide range of accessible instruments and their voices to create a musical language which reflects their emotional and physical condition; this enables them to build connections with their inner selves and with others around them.

Music therapists support the client’s communications with a bespoke combination of improvised or pre-composed instrumental music and voice, either sung or spoken. Individual and group sessions are provided in many settings such as hospitals, schools, hospices and care homes, and the therapist’s approach is informed by different theoretical frameworks, depending on their training and the health needs which are to be met.

Music therapy can help people to

  1. feel more motivated
  2. express themselves creatively
  3. develop their social and communication skills
  4. gain greater awareness of self and others
  5. build their self-esteem
  6. think about the impact music has on their lives
  7. become more confident in making choices
  8. feel that they are in a secure and accepting environment, where positive change can take place

British Asscoiation for Music Therapy