Music as a source of solace

March 27, 2024

Photo by Khoa Võ at Pexels

Gidion Pereira reflects on the music that has awakened his emotions

Music, a universal and timeless language.

But what is music? It is defined as the art of sound in time that expresses ideas and emotions through rhythm, melody, harmony, and colour.

While the dictionary captures its technical essence, it overlooks music’s profound impact on our lives. Beyond its formal elements, music holds the power to profoundly influence and shape our experiences.

I began my journey into music in 2016, at the age of ten, with Ed Sheeran. His music awakened emotions within me, creating a sense of belonging.

However, as time passed, I went through changes, and these transformations were reflected in my music taste. I went on to embrace and relate to music from The Weekend.

His songs, about loneliness and isolation, provided a profound sense of connection. I found solace, especially during lockdown, in his song Afterhours, which explores thoughts about painful longing and introspection. It had a big impact on my life. His soulful vocals and relatable lyrics captured the essence of how I was feeling.

In those quiet moments of contemplation, the emotive tunes from The Weekend create a musical connection that transcends the everyday, making his music an integral part of the soundtrack I grew up to.

Frank Ocean then became a significant influence on my taste in music. Challenging stereotypes in the music industry, he openly came out as bisexual on Tumblr.

Music therapy can effectively reduce symptoms of depression and anxiety

His use of music as a medium to express his emotions and struggles resonated with me. For instance, the song Be Yourself from his Blonde album features a voicemail from Rosie Watson, a friend’s mother, offering advice on substance abuse;

“Be yourself and know that that’s good enough…Not to drink alcohol, not to use drugs. Don’t use that cocaine or marijuana. Because that stuff is highly addictive.”

Ocean’s experiences with his father’s addiction undoubtedly shaped his perspective on relationships and substance abuse.

Exploring the cognitive benefits of music, studies in The Arts in Psychotherapy suggest that music therapy can effectively reduce symptoms of depression and anxiety.

Music can also bring about physical benefits. According to the Journal of Advanced Nursing , listening to music and playing musical instruments in various medical settings, has been associated with a significant reduction in pain intensity and improved pain management.

However, the enjoyment of music can be influenced by social pressures, such as expectations from social media to conform to liking a particular music genre or artist, to ‘fit in’ and avoid judgment. Although, in my experience, the reality is that people generally don’t care about other people’s music preferences.

Music has the power to change our state of mind. During moments of anxiety, I turn to music as a source of solace. It makes me feel calmer and less alone. It becomes a comforting companion during times of isolation as well as a source of joy during social events.

Gidion is studying History, Sociology and Economics. He hopes to go on to study law at university. To relax in his free time, Gidion enjoys listening to music, specifically Brent Faiyaz and also Frank Ocean right now.

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