As book of the week Radio 4 is featuring Michael Spitzer’s newly published ‘The Musical Human’. Michael is a Musicologist, Beethoven expert and Professor from the University of Liverpool. When I heard him interviewed a couple of weeks ago, it was a very refreshing moment.
He’s not the first to say it, but the fact he is who he is makes it all the more powerful.
He states that our relationship with music went into decline after two key events: The moment we started notating music and then, 1,000 years later, when we discovered how to record music.
Why? Because these two seismic shifts began to dissociated us from actively engaging with music. From participation to passive listening, we lose the greatest benefits that music can give us. It’s oddly ironic, that music has never been more readily available to consume, yet the opportunities to actively engage and participate with music have never been less. In the UK, support and subsidy for music (and other cultural activities) has been stripped to the bone. Music teachers in mainstream schools are now being co-opted into delivering ‘wellbeing lessons’ when encouraging musical play would be by far the most effective form of wellbeing practice!
During lockdown, thousands benefitting from the joys of wellbeing choirs have been denied this fabulously simple and accessible form of wellbeing practice. Likewise, the joys of live performance (for musicians and audience) have been silenced.
This time last year, we decided that MindHarp needed to truly reach out to a wider, global audience and focus on being a tool and activity for wellbeing. This we have done and we are now running courses for wellbeing practitioners, teachers and therapists to become confident users and practitioners of MindHarp so they can integrate MindHarp into their practice.
We are already getting marvellous feedback. We have music therapists attaining extraordinary results helping clients recover from neurologic and spinal damage; teachers in special schools using MindHarp to calm and focus children from troubled backgrounds and mindfulness teachers combining MindHarp with mindfulness principles and practice.
This is the “frontline” of MindHarp for therapeutic usage but just as important is the way that these pioneering non-musicians are also using active play with music for themselves. It’s very gratifying for us that nearly all of our new students report back their use of MindHarp for their own enjoyment and mindful practice. This just reinforces Michael Spitzer’s point that music is a gift ALL humans should cherish.
So my advice to you is: Sing in the shower (well or badly!); hum along to your favourite songs; bang away on the old piano in the spare room…it’s great for your health and your wellbeing. Perhaps even start your own musical adventure with MindHarp. Be the musical human you always were…
If you think MindHarp may help in your work or you know someone who may benefit, do get in touch and/or have a look at our website. https://mindharp.world/courses