I feel both proud and privileged to have been able to promote Music Minds Matter since its inception two years ago and launch last year.
From my ongoing work as both a professional musician and therapist I still feel there is a severe need for the Music Minds Matter service. The tensions of being a musician alongside the demands of both the physical and psychological environments make the career a hotbed of stressors. There is no other industry like the music industry and people need support to be able to thrive within it.
As I now divide my time now between psychotherapist and pro-musician, I have far more objectivity than I used to when it comes to the demands of being a musician on the road. For the past month, I have rehearsed for two hours in the evening after my client work to enable my voice and fingers to get ‘match fit’ and prepare for a recent short solo tour.
After rehearsing, I spend the rest of my evenings liaising with the tour manager, venues, accommodation, merch and make sure all my social media is up to date. I find that whenever I plan to go on tour, it generates a huge amount of activity and work, which I attempt to maximise (being a DIY cottage industry.)
Next comes the actual travelling of five hours each way, the lack of sleep, then the big event. I always struggle with a sense of fear and dread before I perform, especially as I no longer drink or indulge.
I manage to keep relatively calm before and during the gig….which seems like forever. I perform, get my adrenaline and dopamine hit and then feel desperate with the strangest desire to go back and do it all again! I cling tightly to the elation and euphoria of the show, drive home in bliss, and have a sleepless but gloriously dysregulated night as my nervous system attempts to download the rollercoaster of being a performer.
I sleeplessly resume my role as therapist in the prestigious Harley Street, soon after a musician client comes in and talks about his pending world tour. I’m all ears……. Shaken, Stirred, Glorious, Tired. I get it. I know it. Where else in the world do we face this challenge. Who can we turn to? Thankfully, Music Minds Matter is there around the clock to listen to all who work in the music industry and are struggling to cope, you can talk to them about anything, not just music.
Help Musicians UK is marking the one year anniversary of Music Minds Matter (4 December) with a dedicated hashtag #MMM1YearOn. Over the next two weeks, we'll be sharing some reflections & thoughts on the service so far.
Whatever you’re going through right now, you can contact Music Minds Matter on 0808 802 8008 or email us at MMM@helpmusicians.org.uk.Back