As if by magic, I have the privilege of getting to see the best in people in music therapy. I see the joy, the creativity, the humor, the passion, and the quirks that make people who they are. But it isn’t magic- it’s MUSIC. The glorious connection that occurs within the music, whether it’s spiritual, interpersonal, intrapersonal, or any combination thereof, is palpable, purposeful, powerful, potent. It is the essence of the human potential – to express one’s true self, and to experience the range of human emotion and human expression; to feel alive.
Although people come to music therapy to feel or function better due to a struggle in life such as dementia, brain injury, depression, or anxiety, these difficulties do not define the individual. I do not look at people and see only their problems; in music, I get to see their strengths, their potential, and all of the beautiful things that make us human. Even at the end of life or at the rock bottom of suffering – the intangible essence of music is there to reach deep within.
Within music therapy, indescribable moments of connectedness occur between the music therapist, the client, and the music. The music and the relationship developed within the music facilitate the growth, transformation, and rebuilding the client seeks and needs. These moments of attunement are a peak experience for me as a music therapist – they feed my soul, and help me to get through the more difficult aspects of my work (after all, I am often seeing people during some of their greatest struggles).
The magic of these moments of connectedness is eclipsed only by the results of the work (see the rest of this blog for the science behind the magic of music therapy). I am humbled to serve as a music therapist; I am in awe of the potency of music and the power of the human spirit.