Saturday, February 16, 2008

Wellness Activity 1: Music Therapy

Being bipolar means changing your mind frequently. Last night I was planning on stopping my blog for an extended time because of this depression. Today, I decided it's not all or nothing. So, I'm going to post on Bipolar Wellness Activities until I feel better. Some I utilize; some I've read about. I won't write a lot of text but will provide images and links.

One of the best books I know on the value of music therapy is The Mozart Effect by Don Campbell. It provides a lot of the reasons why playing music is healing. I play the Autoharp for fun. The photo in the upper left was taken at the California Autoharp Gathering, which I plan on attending in a few months. If you've got an instrument, you can start today. If you don't, in addition to the autoharp, drums, and the harmonica are easy to learn. The graphic in the upper right is a Sound Healing and Drumming Circle. I am learning to play the by listening to David Harp's CDs.


My Life with Bipolar Disorder said...

It's so good, Susan, to know that music helps you. I enjoy playing on my porter sound keyboard. I also enjoy listening to instrumental music on my .mp3 player while taking long walks on the beach. The waves have a soothing effect on me. Take care. Regards, Nancie

J said...

Music is a wonderful way to heal or keep healthy. I play the piano, trombone and sing in several choirs and my body and soul feel rejuvinated. I used to play in a SKA band in college and it always helps me to listen to ska. Ska originated in Jamaica in the 1950's always has stong instrumentation and is upbeat because of it's nature. Emphasis on the 2nd and 4th beat. I have enjoyed reading your blog in the past & hope to be able to continue doing so.

Anonymous said...

another good book is musicophilia. ~ dailyexplorations

Bipolar Wellness Writer said...

Dear Nanci and J,
Thanks for your comments. Wow! If I could play the piano, trombone and sing in several choirs, I'd never be depressed!


Bipolar Wellness Writer said...

Daily Explorations:
Thanks for the reference!


poet soulfree said...

my dear i have occasionally looked at your blog in a passing sort of way and now i notice you are in the blues yourself. just remember the good days when u accomplished something. music will help (being a musician who is bi-polar AND who works in music therapy) i know it. but for now, it has to be your voice you could put to use. just sing along with some of your favourite singers. voice is our original healing mechanism.i can really not much use music when the blues hit me.

Dirk said...

I started guitar lessons in December. I got lucky with a teacher who is energetic and a lot of fun to be around. I'm not any good, but I can do things now that I couldn't earlier. In my experience, one of my triggers is not having "present mindfullness". When I'm thinking about the yesterday, 20 years ago, emotions, etc. I'm not experiencing present life. So even if you're not any good like me, playing guitar poorly keeps your mind in the moment :)

Bipolar Wellness Writer said...

Dear Poet Soulfree,
It's something I haven't thought about but maybe need to pursue. Most of my enjoyment with the Autoharp is about singing so maybe I can just sing away my blues!

Bipolar Wellness Writer said...

I entirely agree. How well you play isn't as important as enjoying it and the concentration it takes to play. I've been taking up some new hobbies too. At my age, I'm finding it difficult to be so mediocre at photography and a few other hobbies, but it's also a great way of focusing!