Responding to Music in my Life: An Autoethnography
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Many people respond very profoundly to music and seek solace through music. This study explores how people in distress respond to music and how music might have therapeutic value. Current psychological research confirms that music is associated with the development of self-esteem, social esteem, self-efficacy and resiliency, but studies are surprisingly few. New research into how the brain responds to music may extend our understanding of the emotional response to music, how soothing occurs, and how therapy might be most successful. The author’s autoethnography provides a detailed account of one musician’s relationship with music. Her experiences parallel the research. She emphasizes the value of the Response-Based approach to therapy, how music was the source of social esteem in her life, how she used music to self-soothe, and how she experienced immense therapeutic value through music, especially when facing adversity. There is a real need for further research in most areas, especially the potential for music therapy, the application of Response-Based therapy, and the value of music education in schools.