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Music And Effects In Trying Times

By Alison N.G. Fernandes

When words cannot express what goes on in the heart, one can safely depend on music to bring out one’s innermost feelings.

THE SOUND OF MUSIC’, a musical motion picture that released in the 1960’s gives us a taste of nostalgia and even as we watch the film today, we could get goosebumps. Music was an integral part of every scene and it brought joy to all the viewers.

Life, almost always is like this film, where, at every juncture whether joyful, sorrowful glorious, luminous or otherwise, music is given its due place. We celebrate and mourn with music. Music is the soul of every aspect of human life. In every human society, the important role that music plays, cannot be overemphasised, having shaped cultures through folk lore and other traditions, thus bringing about changes in people’s thought processes and behaviours.

Talking about revolutionary changes that music can produce amongst individuals in the social context, one can only imagine its effects on the psycho- emotional domain of human life. Music has a profound effect on the psycho – emotional well being of people. Elders, youth and children alike, find solace in music. Life without music is devoid of magic. The magic that music brings can enchant a person with a sombre mood to enhance positivity and develop healthy emotions. Research suggests that music stimulates oxytocin, a hormone related to positive, happy feelings, which is the exact antidote to Serotonin and Cortisol, a hormone that affects mood, appetite and sleep.

The rough and tumble of life can sometimes lead to the loss of a person’s inner spark. The zest and zeal for life seems to be missing, consequently resulting in a slump. This fall can adversely dampen a person’s spirit, making them question the meaning of life. Here comes the period of trial, where one is tried by fire. Everything seems to be flowing against the tide and the storm seems to have overtaken the sea of life. During such vicissitudes of life, where the ebb and flow of life seem to meet a dead end, music becomes the elixir. Where there is doom and despair, music gives the necessary punch to bring zeal and zest in life.

The music super group Bravo All Stars, in their charity record (1998) ‘Let the Music Heal Your Soul’ laid emphasis on music therapy to bring about psycho -emotional healing.

The amount of music that we treat ourselves to, should be directly proportional to the difficulties we face at any given moment in time, consequently raising the frequency of the inner world, thus altering the mind and rendering the heart free of worries.

Music, much like faith, has the power, even so, music is a super power needed to change situations. Once we tap into that potential of music, the not so good tends to transform into positive, bringing about release of positive hormones, consequently making the person feel light and joyful. If I had to emphasise on a particular point, it would be that one may not necessarily become happy or positive all at once with the help of music, but a ray of hope emitting joy from it is surely a great beginning to a new innings of life.

To an individual, it may seem wise to take recourse to music, so as to handle different psycho- emotional challenges that we meet at any and/or all junctures of life. But can this method of healing spread outside the realm of the home? Community support can do a great deal of good, by providing ways and means to bring about awareness of music therapy in psycho-emotional healing, so as to produce emotionally well – regulated individuals which would help produce an open- minded, emotionally intelligent, futuristic society.

In my own personal journey during the most trying times, music has come to my aid- not necessarily paying attention to the lyrics, but more importantly to the instruments being played and the harmony created by those instruments. Simply paying attention to the sounds would bring in the glimmers- a sense of hope and positivity to my mind and soul. It would give me an extra push and motivation to move ahead and take a step, on days when it was impossible for me to even move out of bed. The traumas may have not instantly healed, yet the energy to ‘do’ what needed to be ‘done’ was the solace that I found in music.

Whether it was lack of motivation, traumatic events or otherwise, to me, music could affect the necessary changes thus bringing about positive psycho-emotional behaviour.

The challenges are immense but so is the vast ocean of music that will help to overcome these challenges. In the words of Pastor Isaac Kubvoruno, ‘’In moments of darkness, depression, stress and anxiety, let the strains of celestial melodies drive away despair, and invite the embrace of God’s presence.’’

By Alison N.G. Fernandes

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