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Music - therapy or inspiration?


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I first encountered music therapy at school when we went to see how it was done with our class. It was then that I met the music therapist Markéta Gerlichová, PhD, with whom I took most of the music therapy courses I attended.  

 

Music therapy uses music, sounds, and tone, but also silence. We meet it already in the prenatal period when the fetus perceives mainly the melody and rhythm of the mother's voice (it is appropriate to sing to it). 

 

Music therapy is part of the so-called expressive therapies (similar to art therapy, drama therapy, or dance and movement therapy). Often their use is intertwined, e.g. music painting or moving to the rhythm of music or the mirroring technique used in both music therapy and dance and movement therapy. 

 

We can encounter different techniques in music therapy, the basic ones being: improvisation, interpretation, listening, and composition (songwriting). 

 

The music therapist guides the client through the therapeutic process using these techniques. 

 

I myself once participated as a client in music therapy. I had the opportunity to express my feelings and needs through musical instruments, even to come up with a specific problem and try to find a solution with the help of the therapist. For example, through communication through musical instruments to play the situation and then what would help me to change to make the situation develop for the better. 

 

It was a very interesting experience for me. 

 

My friends and I used to meet to make music together, sometimes we would play songs from a common songbook, and sometimes we would try to improvise a bit, so mainly with the voice, but some of us also with musical instruments. We were very much inspired by Hlasohled, where I got to know some of them. 

 

Ridina Ahmed is the founder of Hlasohled. "The voice is the most natural instrument of a human being," she writes on her website, she organizes voice workshops with different teachers and focuses, and she also runs workshops herself. It is all about the joy of our voice or singing. 

 

When I hear a familiar song, it often brings back memories of where I first heard it, who taught it to me, and who I found the best person to sing it with. There are many people who have inspired me to listen to different music, to sing along, even just for myself... 

 

From my parents, I remember mainly songs by Karel Plíhal and Leonard Cohen, from my family also folk songs, and from my grandfather's songs influenced by the Šumava region. I always had a wonderful time singing with my grandfather, he sang from the heart and it was evident in his voice. My friend from singing together, whom we still see, has a very beautiful voice.  I know a lot of songs from her, especially the ones she brought with her to the singing.  

 

I also know many of the songs from the choir I went to and where I met my later solo singing teacher. I remember her very fondly, I think she influenced me a lot, she was a rare personality. She had a spark in her that she was able to pass on and awaken your abilities.  

 

If I were to list all the people who have influenced me through music, I think I might forget someone... 

 

So I'll just mention a couple of them - my other singing teacher and my guitar teacher. I met both of them at a Musicianship event - passing on their experiences and playing and singing together at a weekend retreat. This singing teacher of mine taught me, first of all, to relax my body while singing, she advised me to smile a bit while singing... She also inspired me with her original songs, I like to listen to her now, her name is Eliška Sýkorová. My guitar teacher is a humble person who can do wonders with guitar and voice, he taught more classical guitar, but he also played songs with me. 

 

Whether music inspires you to sing along, dance, write, or even paint a picture, music brings with it one gift - it brings people together.  

 

An interesting musical inspiration for me is Marta Töpfer. I have participated in several events with her, the most influential was my stay in Kuks, where she taught us to compose our own songs. It was very beautiful and I managed to find another way to music and especially lyrics. Marta is really humble and yet very talented. At the same time, I recommend the environment of Kuks to everyone, it has an atmosphere. 

 

My husband and I both like the music of Pink Floyd and Queen. Our younger daughter was with us at the Queenie concert, with me in my tummy, this was early in my pregnancy.  

 

The biggest experience and inspiration for me is playing with or for someone. When you play and sing for others, you also get feedback from them and it creates an often unforgettable atmosphere. Something similar happened to me recently from my volunteer position at the Na Plesi Hospital.  

 

When I am sad, I find the music of Marta Töpferová and Milokraj, such as the song Selené, or Eliska Sýkorová's Swallows or Leonard Cohen's Suzanne, as a solace to my soul. For a relaxed mood, some songs by Queen, e.g. I Want to Break Free, or Proud Mary by Creedence Clearwater Revival. In my rare time to myself, I'll listen to e.g. Secret Garden, Čechomor, Pink Floyd, or Scorpions depending on my mood. 


What about you, readers? What do you like? Is music a therapy or rather an inspiration for you? 



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Marie Kučerová

Mníšek pod Brdy, Czech Republic

For me, writing is an opportunity to express my thoughts, to immerse myself in the world of my characters, and it's also a moment for myself....

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