Jennifer Riley over at Psych Scamp recently shared some links to research about music therapy. Until this final prompt, I never really considered the role that music plays in my life. When I wrote about Oceans soothing me, Paul responded that music gave him a similar feeling. I didn’t really think about this at the time because I was so caught up in my feelings about the ocean, but I think I can understand a little more about what Paul was meaning now.
I know many people use music to soothe and to help tell their stories – Matthew (our American friend) often uses music to indicate how he is feeling and to try and take away the pain; Secret Shadows lists music that has a special meaning for her within her blog; and Sophie used music to help tell our story when creating the Little girl lost clip on YouTube. But for me music has often been a noise in the background, it’s not something that I really thought about, but I feel fear when it isn’t there to break the silence. I suppose in many ways, music is a form of protection for me. But for others in the system, music has a totally different meaning… a few bars of heavy metal and R is fronting, ready to take on the world; One prefers the blues and Motown so he can lie back and restore energy; Sophie prefers Pink, Brooke Fraser and alternative music, while Katie loves anything that will mean she can dance around.
Our taste in music has always been fairly eclectic, with classical being one of the few genres we don’t listen to. I know that the main cause for the lack of classical music in my life is the influence of the father. He would make fun of those who listened to classical music, saying that they were elitist snobs. I have no memory of us listening to anything other than what he described as, the local “rubbish” radio station. I have no idea what his idea of good music was, but it wasn’t anything that the family listened to. A week ago, we were sent a link to some classical music and from that list we went straight to two pieces which were in the middle of the list. This in itself is odd, we usually have to work through lists from top to bottom. But these two pieces (Cantique de Jean Racine and Silouans Song) were picked and recognised by part of the system immediately.
As I write this, W is telling me that we got told off for listening to the Concert programme by the father. I think listening to classical music was her rebellion against him. While we listened to these two pieces, there was calm throughout the system. It was a different calm to what we experience when near the ocean, but I think this is because more of the senses are involved with the ocean experience. But still, there was a sense of peace. We all listened with respect to something that held importance for a young one. It was her quiet protest and we all admire her strength and courage. But we also just loved the music, it held a fascination for the rest of us. I know those of you who know classical music will be able to tell me why those two pieces are amazing, but for us it wasn’t about dissecting something to understand it. Listening to that music was purely about being there and being surrounded by something soothing. That is a special gift.