Healthful Music
expresses respect for self and others

At the root of our sense of self are the brain’s perception of unity with the physical body and the consistent patterns of thought and behavior we come to exhibit over the years. Due to human consciousness, our life is experienced inside a permeable boundary which separates our internal sense of being from our exterior environment. Our basic instinct is physical survival and, to this end, we pursue the advancement of our own self-interests while still having a need to relate with other individuals and identify with various reference groups. From the perspective of our mind’s eye, we come to view ourselves either favorably or unfavorably, depending on our life experience and the influence of significant caretakers and role models, particularly during our formative years.

Consciousness affords us the possibility of self observation, as well as, spiritual notions of reality beyond the range of our sensory systems. To prosper, we must learn to accept and appreciate ourselves without regard to talent or achievement. It is essential to accept our self-serving instincts so that we may appropriately engage in meaningful relationships with others. This involves not only asserting our own needs for nurture and expression but realizing that others have similar wants and needs.

If we wish to participate in authentic two-way relationships, we must behave responsibly in relation to others by matching our behavior and verbalizations. This is known as congruence and it forms the basis for all serious and balanced relationships in terms of giving and receiving. These qualities set the stage for our participation in nurturing relationships with selected others for they are the foundation of the establishment and maintenance of flexible, yet substantial, psychological boundaries.

While most music serves some useful purpose, selections which inspire us and encourage thoughtful engagement with others are especially worthy of consideration in supporting our health and well being. Many Broadway musicals have songs of good humor and inspiration with pleasant and often rhythmic melodies. These stage productions also identify many human problems and offer various ways of managing these challenges. Sometimes these portrayals are humorous and, at other times, tragic. In any case, Broadway musicals feature humans who are in the process of engaging with life circumstances, whether effectively or ineptly. One of the strengths of this music is that it is presented within the context of a heartfelt story. Generally, as the piece closes, there is some form of resolution or acceptance which satisfies or challenges the audience.