In my previous blogs on resilience I have looked at what it is, why we need it, and how we can cultivate it. This blog looks at other people as a source of resilience development.
My own doctoral research highlighted the importance of other people and community in the lives of musicians. This didn’t only manifest in the relationships with audience members and friends, it also became very clear how the musicians also drew a great deal of support and resilience (emotional regulation) from ‘giving back’ and being deeply understood by others. It was this perspective and my research findings that prompted me to develop and foster a growing community within the Tonic Peer group network. Our goal with Help Musicians is to gradually grow a community of musicians of free mutual support.
Many psychotherapeutic and developmental frameworks suggest how we develop a sense of self-esteem and confidence through the eyes of our caregivers. This has also been backed up by music psychology research surrounding community musicians and music therapy settings (see link to SAGE Journal Article below). It is my belief that peer groups provide a rich environment to cultivate resilience and self-esteem through the mutual understanding involved with our nuanced profession. It is a difficult profession to understand and to navigate at the best of times, especially from the inside! The peer groups provide a place to be seen and heard in our most vulnerable states and also develop a feeling of being understood within this unique environment. I also believe that if you haven’t experienced the long hours in a practice room and the continual self-evaluation of being an artist it can be very difficult to understand the plight of a musician in the modern world.
SAGE JOURNALS ARTICLE
Effects of a music-creation programme on the anxiety, self-esteem, and quality of life of people with severe mental illness: A quasi-experimental design
So, this blog in the series of resilience, reminds us all that our community is vital and how Tonic are practically applying this through running the peer groups.
The feedback from the Tonic Rider Peer Support Groups has been positive and rich and one of great support and vitality. So…. if you are a musician I would recommend trying this unique opportunity to meet others of a like mind and bring your own insight into the wins and losses of being a musician.
For all of the information about, click here Tonic Rider Peer Support Groups.
Also, don’t forget, for those of you who have missed the latest ‘Tonic Music’ radio show, you can catch up on our Mixcloud page. In this month’s radio show I talk to Tonic Patron, Barry Ashworth of the Dub Pistols about his own musicking community and what helps or hinders.
Adam Ficek hosts a monthly show 'Tonic Music' on Totally Wired Radio, where he talks to various guests about music and mental health.