On the 17th of February 2023, we went to a session on music therapy led by a professional, Jane Lings, who showed us how profoundly music can impact the medical world and unlock some parts of the emotions of patients that are hard to translate with words. We had the opportunity to explore multiple instruments – I enjoyed the xylophone – and participate in intimate musical interactions.
As a group we had the opportunity to all play an instrument of our choice and create harmonies together, fusing the sounds of multiple instruments together. Interestingly it was within this cumulative sound – that wasn’t, of course, the most beautiful sound as many of us were playing new instruments – that the expressive capabilities of music were witnessed. We gained a sense of how abstract emotions may be translated into audible sensations. Building upon the group interaction we transitioned into smaller groups of two or three individuals; this created a greater sense of vulnerability and further showed how music may surpass conventional communication. Finally, Jane presented some breathtaking musical compositions that individuals who were experiencing chronic pain or under medical supervision had made. Through the therapeutic guidance of Jane, these individuals channelled their emotions into music which we all heard through the music. Music therapy provides a platform for people to process and express their experiences.
As the session ended, we left with a renewed appreciation for the power of music therapy and its ability to connect, heal, and empower individuals in ways that conventional communication often cannot.