By now you've probably noticed a theme for Mondays on my blog. Over the month of March I've used the first day of the week as a day to showcase something about music and how it relates to me and my writing. At the beginning of the month I talked about Shooter Jennings and Hierophant's collaboration with Stephen King. The next week I told you guys about my trip to Indiana to see Murder By Death. And last week we had a great discussion about writing playlists. This has been a lot of fun and I plan to keep doing this or something similar in the weeks to come. I think music is an integral part of the writing process for many authors, including myself, and I'm fascinated by the countless ways the two forms of art entwine together.
On that note, let's get on to this week's musical entry...
Did you know there's such a thing as music therapy? The American Music Therapy Association says on their website, "The idea of music as a healing influence which could affect health and behavior is as least as old as the writings of Aristotle and Plato. The 20th century discipline began after World War I and World War II when community musicians of all types, both amateur and professional, went to Veterans hospitals around the country to play for the thousands of veterans suffering both physical and emotional trauma from the wars. The patients' notable physical and emotional responses to music led the doctors and nurses to request the hiring of musicians by the hospitals."
I love this idea, and would like to write a story about it sometime. The concept fires up the furnaces of my imagination - a musician, using his or her art to heal the sick. Now I know there are thousands of qualified music therapists out there who've worked hard to get where they are using their dedication and talent. But my brain naturally turns to a tale of the weird when I think about this subject. What if it was a supernatural sort of ability, something which doctors couldn't detect - except when viewing the rapid healing of their gravely injured patients? What if this person, this "music therapist", had been different all through growing up and finally found what they were meant to do in a VA hospital during the second world war? A period piece with supernatural undertones. So much fun to think about!
This is one of the many ways I get ideas for stories... learning about something new and interesting, then imagining a character thrown into a situation which showcases that skill (or place, or time, or whatever). I'm pleased to have a new goal of learning more about music and how it could inspire or influence me to write pieces I might not usually consider. I hope you'll be as interested to read these "Music Monday" entries as I am to write them.
What are some ways music has inspired you as a writer? We've talked about playlists, live music, and so on... Do you find music and writing as cooperatively influential as I do?