bill protzmann header image for music as therapy

Well this takes everything to a whole new level! I have always loved music, but just as entertainment.

Bill Protzmann is a world famous thought leader in using music as therapy. His ideas are simple, powerful, easy to understand, and quick to implement. I interviewed Bill and came away with MANY great ideas to use music more purposefully as both enjoyment and as a means of self care.

Bill Protzmann’s mission is to raise awareness of the power of music as self-care. 
He is the world’s leading expert on the power of music for physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual health, holds magna cum laude degrees in piano performance and creative writing, and has led a successful IT consulting practice for over 30 years.

Dave had an amazing interview with Bill. To hear the whole story, click below. Otherwise, keep on reading for a great summary!

Why Music as Self Therapy?

My mission is helping people learn how to engage with music more mindfully and more purposefully. We all know music is out there, but the fact that it can actually be a tool for our health is something we haven’t given much thought to until recently. We’ve started seeing that teaching children how to make music gives them invaluable skills that they can’t learn anywhere else. The full, holistic experience of learning how to create music is incredible- there’s nothing like it.
The music we love is very powerful and personal to us. The fact that you like the music that you like is almost like a fingerprint, it’s part of your signature and who you are. When you discover what you love and you have that connection to it it’s like unlocking your superpower. Music as self-therapy helps people feel happier, lighter, more energetic, and less stressed. Just like meditating, the benefits of music are countless. The bottom line is you need that music – it does something for you and it can tell you so much about who you are to know that.
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What are practical heart skills and what does music have to do with them?

Practical heart skills contain both mindful and emotional aspects. First, you’ll want to break down the components of what you’re looking for. Loving kindness, for example, can be broken down into feelings of love, compassion, and gratitude, to name a few. But often the words are paradoxical in meaning and may contain emotions that are the opposite at the same time. In loving kindness there is also an aspect of “tough love” or firmness.bill protzmann loving kindness graphic
Unpacking all of this is necessary because each one of these components is an emotion that can be supported by music.
Next, you can find a song that makes you feel that compassion, or the feeling of your choice, and move on to create a full emotional experience.
Just as movies and books often have four acts, it takes about four songs to give us a solid emotional arc on anything. After choosing four or more songs that embody the arc that you’re searching for, you can combine them to create a solid emotional trigger that, after practice, can help you embody that trait whenever you need.
You have a workout playlist, and you can also have a playlist for anti-stress, respect, one for discernment, gratitude, etc. Music and music therapy can support all of these things. Once you have learned how to use music to promote those feelings in yourself you are subconsciously empowered to make better choices.

How do we proactively use music therapy to improve our health?

The quickest way to find out how your music is changing or supporting your health is to become fully aware of what the music does when you hear it. We all know when we like a song and when we don’t, but what is it in the music that makes us feel that? One of the best ways you can become fully aware of the music is to engage your five senses while you’re listening to it.
Bill Protzmann Ask Yourself
Pick your favorite song right now, of any genre, and just listen to it. Don’t try to work or exercise at the same time, just sit and listen. While you’re listening think about:
  • If this song was a flavor, what might this song taste like?
  • Imagine the song as a texture, what might this song feel like?
  • What do you see in your mind’s eye while listening? Do you have nostalgic memories? Color swirls, perhaps? Goals or fantasies?
As you begin to engage yourself in this way the music will then inform you more fully of who you are within the music itself.

What do you say about discovering new music? Is it important? 

Change your music, change your life. If you’re feeling stuck, a good way to discover a new opportunity or a way to move forward is to start exploring music. Music therapy is unique in that it gives you the opportunity to explore new feelings and ideas in a way that’s non-threatening. If you’re really curious about music, try to notice more. Pay more attention to what you like and what you don’t. Ask your kids, neighbors, and coworkers what they’re listening to right now. While listening, give yourself a moment to see how you work in these different situations and how the new music makes you feel.  If you feel resistance, pay attention to it! Often there is a message that you might
be pulling away from and once you stop resisting and feel the music miraculous moments occur.

 

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About Bill…
Bill Protzmann’s mission is to raise awareness of the power of music as self-care. He is the world’s leading expert on the power of music for physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual health. Bill holds magna cum laude degrees in piano performance and creative writing, and has led a successful IT consulting practice for more than 30 years. In 2011, Bill launched Music Care Inc, a for-purpose corporation to teach and advocate for practical ways music can be used for your self-care. He was recognized by the National Council for Behavioral Health with an Award of Excellence in 2014 – the industry equivalent of winning an Oscar.
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