Recently, I have had a really good spell of musical shows. Some have been public, some private. All of them have ended with ecstatic audiences.
I find myself reflective. Is the warm response a result of extended months of lockdown and people are just so relieved to get out to a live show? Is it perhaps my own personal growth as a muso and performer? Or is it some sort of combination of these and other factors?
Some of regular readers of this blog and email subscribers will know that I’m pursuing a masters degree in psychology. Specifically, using music and performance as a therapeutic and educational tool.
Let me be honest… recently, most of the time when I’ve performed live, I have felt like a psychologist.
The parallels are all there: having to constantly read the room, body language, listen for sounds, checking for key moments when the lid might get lifted on the status quo in the room and people become free…
I think I’m getting there in terms of all these things as a performer. But my questions are around what’s going on in the limbic system, amygdala and prefrontal cortex of people’s brains when I’m cranking out Queen songs or easing them into a Michael Bublé number…
As I say, I feel like a psychologist. But I’m not actually one. However, these questions won’t go away, along with my work as a teacher. The benefits of music in education have been incredibly impactful in my work – and so I’m now chasing after some concrete concepts and research in using music as a psychotherapeutic and educational tool as a performing artist.
Basically, a shrink rock star.
The journey will take me to England, where I will be pursuing a masters degree and seeking some answers to these questions. The kids are prepped – I gave them Mark Twain’s “don’t let your schooling interfere with your education” idea – and my wife and I are packing a few bags and heading to the northern hemisphere in pursuit of some answers.
More to come…