Music &….Mental Health An Inclusive Interdisciplinary Conference
Music is the soundtrack to our lives. Listening to and creating music has strong intuitive resonances with our sense of well-being and our mental health and has a direct impact on our moods, motivations and creativity. On a typical day, music might awaken us, entertain us on the morning commute, assist us in focusing on tasks and absorbing information, energise us for a gym session, cheer us up, remind us of things past, inspire us to create something, stimulate desire, relax us after a long day and, ultimately, lull us to sleep. For many of us, music is so engrained into our existence that we fail to acknowledge the tremendous impact music has on our thoughts and feelings.
Indeed, music can be associated with healing and catharsis and can be a valuable tool in a therapeutic context. while music is a powerful mechanism for coping with loss, grief, pain, lonelieness and other adversity, it is also a catalyst for euphoric sensations that result in intense pleasure and forge connections with others. Music can be correlated to enhanced cognitive performance and be used to support those with specific mental health conditions, including but not exclusive to dementia, Alzheimer’s disease, various forms of depression, but its use can also arguably lead to harms where music plays a role in supporting negative emotion.
While the health benefits of music have been broadly recognised across various disciplines, professions and practices, this event offers an opportunity for a fully inclusive interdisciplinary exploration of music’s impact on the mental health of listeners, and the impact of mental health on the creation and performance of music. By considering the relationship between music and mental health in this bi-directional manner, the event aims to foster a dynamic dialogue that will:
- facilitate sharing of concrete knowledge and techniques for using music to address mental health issues;
- support direct engagement between musicians and health practitioners;
- assist professionals from diverse disciplines in identifying ways that music can be used to promote mental health in work environment;
- support individuals seeking personal development by highlighting strategies to maximise the mental health benefits of music.
The event will also aim to build an innovative publication which will engender further collaboration and discussion going forward.