Continuing our week of blogs by Mind The Music – Community Music’s 3 year programme working with music and mental health – today we hear more from students sharing their experiences.
We have two case studies, from students of Community Music’s Creative Music and Business Foundations Degree, who have offered to share their journey in their own words.
David Griffiths, Singer Songwriter
“My ‘battle’ with mental health issues began when I was diagnosed with a neurological condition called Tourette’s Syndrome when I was nine. This started a vicious cycle, as the Tourette’s brought on a shroud of depression and anxiety, which in turn made the Tourette’s worse, causing more severe depression and anxiety.
I have always loved music, but my real passion for music started when I first heard a song called ‘This Love’ by Texan metal band Pantera. Since then, my love for music (especially metal) has grown exponentially. This inspired me to start playing the guitar when I was 14, which I found very therapeutic. It also seemed to help my Tourette’s when I was engrossed in playing. Then, when I was 17 I met a good friend who is an amazing guitarist, and we started jamming together. He would play the guitar and I would sing. For me, singing and writing lyrics is one of the best therapies for my mental health issues, as it is a way of venting emotions and expelling negative feelings.
It’s only quite recently that my mental health problems have started to improve, as well as my confidence. I think this is largely down to meeting other creatives on the course at CM, who have inspired me further and given such positive feedback on my music. Also, meeting these great people has helped my social anxiety a lot. I find it amazing how music has helped me so much with my mental health, as a few years ago I found it almost impossible to leave the house and now I feel the happiest I have been in a long time”.
Jack Kaind, Singer Songwriter
“Over the past couple of years I have suffered with anxiety and depression. It has definitely affected my every day life including my studies and also some past jobs where I have days where it will affect me so much I will do anything but show up for a class or a shift.
For me music has always been a release, whether it’s listening to my favourite albums and tracks or even creating my own music. Its been a great way to get lost for a while and give my life a fresh perspective for a few hours or even a few days and it has always helped me to get out of the mental hiccups I may have. I also play under an alias name which for me can be nice to be someone else for a change and become a different character for 45mins whilst playing a gig or something.
Music has definitely helped me to relax over the years, especially when it comes to writing my own music because that’s when I can get a lot of the mental stress out and put it into song form as I am not one of those people who is good at unloading their worries by having a social conversation. My way of unloading has always been fairly musical and its therapy in itself to write how you are feeling rather than bottling it up. It has definitely helped with my self esteem when playing my music live even though the anxiety is through the roof before I am on stage once I start to play and sing it all melts away and I get such a buzz afterwards. Playing live is something I wish I did a lot more just for that buzz I get afterwards even if there is 3 or 4 people in the crowd. Its so refreshing for me to be able to express how I feel in such a creative way and something I have always been so passionate about.
I definitely get a great feeling of discovering new music and learning from artists from all genres of music around the world. Playing my guitar and writing my own songs is probably the best feeling I get though and that urge to share my feelings with other people through my own way. Writing lyrics has been my own personal therapy over the past few years and something that has always helped me express myself even in times where my whole being feels tense. I think music in general for me has always been a great outlet and something I will always refer to in times of struggle and need”.
Jack is a graduate of Community Music’s Creative Music Production and Business Degree. As well as recording and producing as a music artist, Jack is continuing to build confidence and skills in assisting music production sessions at Community Music’s recording studio.
-- For the full article with photos, visit cmsounds.com --
Our Mental Health Awareness Week Mind The Music Blog Takeover continues tomorrow.
Mind the Music is Community Music’s new 3 year programme working with music and mental health. The programme will see us implement a clear Mental Health Strategy to respond to the growing need for better support for young people studying in higher education. Mind the Music is funded by the JA Clarke Trust and Children in Need.
Mental Health Support For further information on mental health support services, visit the Mind website.