Exploring Musical Improvisation as a Form of Healing

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Summary: To put it simply, playing music just makes people feel better.To put it simply, playing music just makes people feel better. Jon Beerman graduated from the Sound, Voice and Music Healing Certificate Program at the California Institute of Integral Studies in San Francisco, California, and he has begun to explore the healing power of expression through musical improvisation and discussion. For his final project, he invited students of the program into his studio for discussion and musical improvisation over several months, and through these sessions discovered the impact the class had on them, as well as creating some interesting improvisational musical pieces, which are featured throughout the show. Jon feels that expression is the opposite of depression: The more we express ourselves musically, the less we are depressed. Musical expression helps process emotions so they are just passing through and do not define us. When we dwell on emotions, those emotions can become larger issues if we do not process them properly. When we hold things in, close up and let nothing in or out, it is a recipe for depression and unhappiness. Music opens us up. It literally stirs emotions so they can move on. Our society is so set on people having to be the best at everything, it scares people away from playing music if they aren't virtuosos, and one of the fundamental purposes of music is simply to express ourselves, whether the music sounds perfect or not. This concept has eroded our ability to process emotions on a regular basis and we feel stressed and we don't know why. Jon's mission at Expressive Sound Studios is "to provide a safe, sacred space to explore our relationship with music and reconnect to the child-like joy of expressing ourselves through musical improvisation without judgment."