Good Vibrations: Music and Mental Health is a book by Keith Loach based on 1) a literature review of research into the effect of music on the brain and 2) how music for mental health can be supported in healthcare policy. Good Vibrations: Music and Mental Health presents a best-of collection of Music Meditations from Keith’s podcast and blog. The book is a light read and a perfect gift for virtually everyone, including students, professionals, parents and seniors.
(Preview/Buy Book HERE)
(Preview/Buy PDF HERE)
Healthcare Is Broken: Rx Music is a book by Keith Loach about our personal and societal health and wellbeing. The business side of health science is presented as a tragic extension of how capitalism has circumvented our most basic and fundamental needs to support a monstrous money-making machine. Music is prescribed as a back-to-basics/stop-the-insanity framing device to help create a new focus for healthcare using non-invasive, non-chemical, community-based, and artistically-driven solutions.
1 – Parts of Healthcare is Broken (2019) were subsequently entered into the blog. Some of these same blog entries are also in Good Vibrations (2022) due to the best-of podcast/blog format. Apologies for the duplication.
Right Brain, Left Brain
The Divided Brain by Iain McGilchrist suggests that the industrial revolution (~1750-1830) disrupted the natural left/right brain relationship, provoking a twentieth-century skewed view of the world more focused on hyper-efficiency than on creativity and empathy. A correlative change in musical activity occurred in the classical era (~1750-1830) and is observed through the rise of aesthetic formalism and a decline in improvisation.
Charles Dickens (1812-1870) grew up through the final years of the industrial revolution with his first publications appearing in the late 1830s. His works depict society as cruel and intolerant, dismissing any form of neuro-divergent behaviour as sub-human. The inability to conform to societal standards was an illness, and the proliferation of insane asylums, considered practical philanthropic institutions, was driven by efficiency and standardization. Their doors were opened to the public on weekends for freak-show viewings further reinforcing the expectation/requirement to be “normal” and fit in.
Are today’s elevated stress and mental health problems related to a centuries old paradigm shift? Can an issue of such systemic/epic proportions even be addressed? Regardless, can music help realign our basic mental health needs?
Music in Healthcare:
Letters and campaigns for improving the awareness of music in healthcare, including contact addresses for Canadian MPs and MPPs, can be found at Music Therapy and OHIP.
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