As I mentioned last week, I think that both poetry and music can have a great effect on our moods. In fact I believe that music has an even greater effect on our moods than poetry, partly because much of it – and certainly the music that I enjoy most – is made by lots of people working together.
I think that if I had to choose eight discs to take to a desert island (I still think of pieces of music on discs – “Desert Island mp3s” doesn’t have quite the same alliterative ring to it!) many of the pieces of music would be from 100 years ago and further back. That’s not because I don’t like modern music – I do – but because most pieces of music written these days are short and generally focused on one emotion – love, longing, anger, hope – so to get all those emotions in popular music written since the 1960s I would have to choose four “discs”. However, if I were to choose “Messiah” (just to take one example of an older work) I would have all those emotions and more on one “disc”.
I don’t want this note to be longer than about 10 pages (I’ll bet some of you just skipped to the bottom to see if it IS that long! :-)) so I am only going to write about music that helps me to feel better if I’m fed up. I won’t include music that might be helpful in other stressful situations – for example, if I had a job interview coming up, or if I had a difficult decision to make; if I were ill or if I needed to focus for the day ahead – though of course some of the music I listen to if I’m fed up can also be helpful in these situations.
This is the first in a series of three or four linked contributions to the blog from Johnny and me. In this first one, I have written about how poetry helps me feel better. In the next two Johnny and I will write about music. As you read, you may like to think about music that helps you feel better, and please do share that with us if you can. Problems can make you feel lonely, but sharing ideas helps us to feel connected again.
Your ideas and suggestions will be drawn together into the fourth (and maybe fifth and sixth) contribution to this blog. Or, of course, you could just write a contribution to the blog yourself :-)
Either way, please do tell us all about music and poetry that helps you at difficult times!
A few years ago I was given a delightful book – “The Poetry Pharmacy”. The author suggested that poetry is a powerful mood influencer and that it can (for example) help us to feel calmer if we are frustrated, happier if we are sad, and more determined if we are unsure.
I really liked this idea, as it reflected my own experience, both with poetry and with music. I mentioned this idea to Johnny a little while ago and he suggested that we write this blog. Please do share your ideas…..are there special “go to” poems or pieces of music that really help you?
Tone Onset – The Germ of Good Vocalism
It's good to share!
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