THE SOUNDS OF SCIENCE
For pretty much as long as I can remember, music has been front and centre in my life. From piano lessons in elementary school to my first rock concert (Bryan Adams! Ack!) in junior high. From a Sony Walkman to mp3's, I've always had access to music all around me, and one song or another going around in my head.
I've always wanted music to play a significant supporting role in my life this because it's always made me feel good. Simple as that. Example? I remember a particularly stressful work day about one decade ago. To deal, I went home and put Madonna's Ray of Light into the CD player and danced with reckless abandon in the middle of the living room. I listened to that song four times in a row. By the time all the replays had replayed, I felt so. much. better. I know that sounds really, really gay, but really, in essence, it was therapy for me. Almost nothing makes us feel better than escaping to the land of great melodies and a catchy chorus.
Lots of different types of music carried me off to other lands over the years. One of the groups I loved back in the late 80's and into the 90's was Beastie Boys. You just cannot beat white boys who know how to rap and how to rock. That's why I'm so tickled now that the Beastie Boys are out there promoting awareness of the very same idea of "music as therapy".
Next month the Beasties are playing a charity show for the Institute of Music and Neurologic Function. Here's a little bit about the institute: through the scientific explorations of music and the brain, the Institute for Music and Neurologic Function seeks to establish new knowledge and develop more effective therapies which awaken, stimulate and heal through the extraordinary power of music.
I think music therapy is a totally and absolutely fascinating area of study. I have no doubt in my mind that music in any form is therapeutic to the human soul, but in case you're wondering about it, here is a bit of a further explanation of the concept. And this again is from the Institute's website:
Music therapy is the systematic use of music, within a developing relationship between patient and therapist to restore, maintain, and improve physical, emotional, psychosocial and neurologic function. What does music have to do with therapy? For many individuals, finding the motivation to participate in therapy is sometimes difficult. Combining exercise with a systematic application of music is one way to address these difficulties and aid in the rehabilitation process.
Here are some more deets on Music Therapy from the Institutes' website:
Through the scientific explorations of music and the brain, the Institute for Music and Neurologic Function seeks to establish new knowledge and develop more effective therapies which awaken, stimulate and heal through the extraordinary power of music. The Institute for Music and Neurologic Function, a nonprofit 501 (c)(3) agency, was founded by the Beth Abraham Family of Health Services in 1995 to restore, maintain and improve people's physical, emotional and neurologic functioning through the systematic use of music. The Institute, considered a preeminent authority in clinical music therapy research and education, offers a variety of resources: Expertise in treating neurological conditioned diseases such as stroke, trauma, dementia, Alzheimer's, Parkinson's and other diseases and conditions. Vast clinical experience applying techniques in a large, diverse residential population. Internationally and nationally recognized training programs in music therapy. In order to support our mission, the Institute for Music and Neurologic Function relies upon the generosity of individuals, corporations and foundations.
And just for old time's sake, here's the Beastie Boys video for Sabotage. IMHO, this was *the best* video of 1994!