Resilience and music: rock on

Me and the Kukey girls. You can hear us at backyard parties and special events.
Me and the Kukey girls. You can hear us at backyard parties and special events.

Music is one of those things that I always turn to when I want to celebrate, commiserate or just contemplate. Lately I have been lucky enough to perform again with a group of friends and the experience has been a bonding one. Rehearsing over a meal and some drinks, retraining our ears to hear the parts of others not just our own, learning to watch each other for cues and taking our turns to shine has been an experience that other activities just don’t come close to replicating. In turn, getting up in front of others and performing is equal parts exhilarating and terrifying. But the end result is empowering. An ‘I did it’ feeling, regardless of the quality of the turn in the spotlight.

I loved reading this article by Joanne Ruksanas from The Conversation about the link between resilience and music, mainly because it validates my own perspective but also because of the way resilience is described:

Resilience is an important characteristic often referred to as an umbrella trait. It does not remove problems – but it provides shelter and protection while people make choices about how they will deal with what they are facing.

How beautiful. This description doesn’t deny the fact of the storm, nor the fact that shelter might be required. It draws a picture of being able to find some time to get your bearings and decide what to do next.

Music, gratitude, art, connection to others; all contribute to make this umbrella that provides shelter from the storm, and helps us to emerge when the sun comes out again.

My son has witnessed my fervour in this regard. He came home one day, eager to start learning guitar. I was thrilled. We set off for the local music store (we’re very lucky to have one), grabbed an acoustic guitar and booked in for lessons. After about lesson three, he was less enthusiastic but I encouraged him to persist, even bribing him with slushie drinks. I never heard any adult ever voice regrets about having music lessons. The reverse though, I’ve heard plenty.

Maybe Binky should do a music project?

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