As you may know about me from my recent writings, I have a long history as a student of music. Aside from its recreational function, it is also possible to use music for therapeutic purposes. There is a formalized system of Music Therapy which is taught and practiced clinically, but I am thinking instead of some particular applications of music within the context of Heilkunst treatment.
One of the most central principles to Heilkunst is that of resonance, which is what is behind the way medicines are applied, as well as lifestyle and diet suggestions. We resonate to certain things based on typological factors (eg. everyone who is a ‘thyroid body type’ will resonate with the same balancing diet), but the healthier we become, the more we resonate to things based on our unique individuality. Art and music are good vehicles for identifying where our resonance lights up the most, and are good points of exploration for therapeutic purposes.
My favourite personal discovery over the past few months is in the recently implemented business models of music subscription services, which work very differently from the long-standing music business model of purchasing songs or albums to own and keep indefinitely. Subscription models, on the other hand, work more like a ‘rental’ model, where a low monthly subscription fee gives the subscriber full access to enormous libraries of music to stream ‘on demand’, but which are not ‘owned’ in the traditional sense of a copy of the file remaining on one’s computer or music device.
Although I’m a long time fan of enjoying music which I have bought and collected in my own personal library of CDs, albums, and cassettes, my experience with this new subscription model has opened up my relationship to music in ways that have been completely surprising to me.
With increasingly popular services such as Spotify, or Rdio for Canadians, it’s not only the old business model of buying and selling music that has been reinvented, but the special relationship of the consumer to the music is completely turned on its head now — speaking from my own experience, the spirit of exploring music has been entirely re-kindled within myself, and the joy of discovery is now unhindered by any of the old barriers and limitations implicit in the model of ownership and permanence. I can choose to sample anything once, and quickly discard all that is not resonant to my current taste.
I go back now to listen to some of my old playlists from my permanent personal collection, and they feel so old and “museum-ified” in an eternally frozen state. Such old points of reference seem to serve to reinforce old habits of ego-identification with what has been, rather than what is becoming within me. With this new subscription model, I can let go of these old ego-identifications, and instead participate everything in the moment through resonance, and an open scientific attitude of making fresh observations about the music, and about my inner responses to it.
Also, there is a powerful therapeutic potential in terms of the time line work that we do with patients, in terms of re-creating the “soundtrack” of our lives with the music that we listened to in a certain era of our lives, in order to re-capture the feeling from that time to be processed and healed. Likewise, if a patient is talking about their favourite music (now, or in the past), I can instantly call it up to understand its feeling for myself, and to understand the patient better.
There are many powerful aspects to creating or consuming music, and now we are being given an opportunity to access as much of its potential as possible. Which playlist would you create first?