Canadian Musician - March / April 2018 - Page 44

alcohol and addiction and now “uses his words and music to bring healing into his life and the lives of others.” Canadian musician Coleman Hell received press last week after sharing that he sought out professional help with his struggles with mental illness. The problem is real. Music therapy has the potential to be the field which sup- ports musicians and music professionals in a way that no other professional service can. A musician desires a change in their life because of symptoms that are making daily functioning difficult and, at the same time, identifies with music more deeply than any other medium. Chances are you have played and studied music from an early age, and your brain actually functions differently because of this. A music therapist’s treat- ment plan can offer psychotherapy (talk therapy) in conjunction with non-verbal interventions like improvisation, songwrit- ing, and guided imagery. Music therapy efficacy is also deeply rooted in process. Music is experienced as a process when shared with another person, but is more of an object when I separate my music from yours. It is also more an object when it be- comes work versus it being a process that focuses solely on musical communication. The emotional effects of music cause a corresponding physical effect, and all the physical effects of sound inevitably create a psychological change. DEBORAH SEABROOK MUSIC RELATED ISSUES/YOUR RELATIONSHIP WITH MUSIC Residing in Montréal, improvising musi- cian, music therapy clinician, and educator Deborah Seabrook specializes in working with musicians. She recently completed 44 • C A N A D I A N M U S I C I A N research on the impact of music therapy for professional artists and musicians at The Banff Centre. In Deborah’s words, “Music therapy has spe- cial benefits for musicians because we are working within the language that we have been trained in, perform in, and know intimately. This allows us to en- ter the world of music in a unique way, and to address music-related issues at the source. Music therapy for musicians can address: performance anxiety, your relationship with your instru- ment, relationships within an ensemble, reconnecting to the joy of making music, and revitalizing creativity.” She uses person-centered clinical improvisation in her private practice, where participants actively contribute to creating music in the moment and experience the healing effects of a safe space for creative self-expression. The improvisation techniques therapeutically reflect, contain, hold, affirm, and challenge people’s musical offerings with an option to verbally process what was created. Music therapy offers you, as a musician, a key to unlocking your potential by addressing areas that inhibit the power of the music you have yet to share. INJURY & PAIN MANAGEMENT It is our bodies that we use to create music, and this inevitably places a lot of stress and responsibility on them to be in optimal form. Additionally, pain is a prevalent symptom in numerous medical conditions, and many musicians may be forced to continue working in some capacity to continue earning a living, and desire techniques that can allow manage- ment of pain symptoms. Many options for coping involve drug prescriptions and medications. Music therapy offers a non-pharmacological intervention that is non-invasive and leaves no negative side effects. Through both active and passive interventions, music therapy affects pain perception by: • Distraction: using client-preferred and/or created songs, melodies, drum grooves, guitar solos, etc., it shifts thinking away from the pain. Musicians cognitively engage at a deeper level than non-musicians • Relaxation: slows breathing and lowers blood pressure • Control: an individual is empowered by choosing music that is meaningful to them and representative of who they are • Endorphin Release: hormones released by ѡɅչѕɅЁѡͥ́ɕѕ)+%٥Յ饹ͥ́չѼͥqͥ)չɔtݡɔѥ́٥Յ锁ͥѕ́ѥѡ䁅Ёѡ)ݡɔѡ́ɽ