If there was a magic formula for happiness and wellbeing Music would come in first, with evidence that it really is food for the soul.
There is only one lady in my entire life who told me that she was not affected by music, and in fact could live without it. She seemed to believe it too, and told me with great conviction. But I had to challenge her as Music reigns in every domain and is in every sound of nature, in every raindrop, windfall and bird call. It is in the voices and actions of people that surround us, some more pleasant than others, but it is there nonetheless.
Music sends out a vibration which is why we should watch what we say, and how we respond as anger has a pitch and tone of its own.
Music has been a great part of healing therapy for trauma patients and those suffering from mental health issues and the results have been significant. It is hardly surprising because it can lift the spirit and bring a sense of self to a person suffering from any sort of malady, both physical and mental.
It is also a great way of teaching young kids to learn all the basic subjects from Maths to Science and Languages. In the nineties, I spent several years being trained at Interaction, the Charity of Learning, run by the legendary Ed Berman who had received an OBE for his work in education. I worked within London boroughs where there were a great number of young students with learning difficulties and autism, and the music therapy learning was hugely effective. It was a delight to see children who had previously struggled with simple questions in tests, come through with flying colours, all through the power and magic of music.
As part of my training I attended a course instigated by the classical composer Carl Orff, and spent a week at York University listening to music of all genres, singing with a choir and making my own musical instruments. It was great fun and immensely satisfying and at the end of the week, I remember every sound was sharp and clear and I could identify with a note of music – even to the opening of a can of coke which happened as I walked out into the streets.
Many of us today discover our favourite singer or recording artist through programmes like The Voice or X Factor. I personally don’t have a huge problem with that, as many great artists have been discovered on these type of programmes, but music spreads its wings and can be found far closer to home.
International recording artist Emili Sande has recently launched her new series on the BBC celebrating the Symphony on our Streets, and the spine tingling effect of merging diverse genres of music together and discovering the talent of our buskers and street artists, stars of our communities.
You may even have a family member of friend who has a talent for making music, and I would challenge you to discover the music within yourself, it is definitely there, and can even make a difference to your life if you find it. Start listening closely to yourself and to others, you may find that you will open up to the appreciation of a world that you have only just begun to discover.