Pioneering the field of Music Therapy in Maine. Providing group and individual sessions for speech, coordination, elevated mood states, increased self-expression and communication, reality orientation, and team work.
circuits in the brain called mirror neurons provide us with the empathy to connect our own meaning to that of the music- even if we don’t know what the composer actually meant. Experiencing empathy leads to feeling compassion, and this feels good. Listening to music, therefore, is good for all of humanity.
“One person has a bunch of excitement and distraction, the other person is at home just… doing stuff. The longer it goes, the more challenging it gets.” This is something that has to be navigated, but it’s not unique to artists. If you love someone, you figure it out.
Working together, we used music as a distraction, as a reward, and as the motivation. Responding to Mia’s actions and moods through musical improvisation meant that she felt understood and was more motivated to participate in the therapy session. The music pushed her to lift higher, stretch longer, and laugh in the middle of crying.
There is more to empathy than just taking on another person's feelings. It's about being open to how someone might feel, without judgment or assumption. It's about actively listening, and then really thinking about what you say and whether it really needs to be said. Sometimes, the best way to listen is silently.
This tension is representative of the aforementioned difficult emotions- suspense, uncertainty, sadness- and the resolution can help listeners move through these issues to a resolution of positivity. Unresolved tensions in music, as well as key changes or rhythmic surprises, can help listeners learn to deal with unexpected changes and accept them.
He called me excitedly when he started working on a new piece that called for hitting the piano strings with a timpani stick. He showed genuine interest in the musical projects I was a part of, even rock music that I guarantee he’d have no interest in musically.