by Ian Walker, ADHD Author, Musician and Vocal Artist
As I have discovered from the success of my book Stirring My Soul to Sing, Overcoming ADHD Through Song, (published by Word Alive Press, 2018) that during the writing process and in just getting my story out there; I forgot to include my music therapy methods and in going deeper with my techniques as an alternative instead of taking prescription drugs for one’s ADHD..
During my teen-age years, I was often exhausted, frustrated and bullied. I needed some therapy to bring my emotions back to square one. Peace came with an activity when I knew that I did well and in playing the piano or singing.
One tangible result was a strength to fight off negative feelings of depression and to build up self-esteem. When I went to this music therapy session at least three times per week I could function and survive another day.
I would suggest that for the person looking for help to listen to classical music, instrumental music (meditative in nature), folk music or selected positive pop music. DO NOT USE ROCK MUSIC…
FOCUS ON THE BRAIN AND BODY WORKING TOGETHER (Half an Hour to forty-minute exercise)
- Being a budding pianist and wanting to improve on my technique, I would start with practising my scales and arpeggios. When studying voice, I would use these same techniques with lots of “warming up vocal exercises.”.
- Techniques I developed were playing the piano piece and then dissecting it. These same applications were applied when developing a vocal piece or aria.
TAKE A BREAK, STRETCH AND DRINK LOTS OF WATER (NOT POP)
PERFORM OR PRACTISE MUSIC THAT IS ENJOYABLE…
- I would practise songs or piano pieces that I enjoyed in order to have them in my repertoire so that I could have them ready to perform publicly.
- If you were interested in composition or just getting to know your chosen instrument, I would start to “fool around with” some new pieces and new sounds,. Challenge yourself. Follow your interests in various styles.
TAKE ANOTHER BREAK. STRETCH (PREFERABLY 10 MINUTES) AND DRINK LOTS OF WATER!
EXPLORING DIFFERENT TYPES OF MUSIC AND SOUNDS AND LITERATURE!
- Educate yourself on all types and expressions of music, theory, history and composition You will develop your passion for a specific composer, artist or instrument.
- ADHD folk are generally very intelligent people, I wanted to learn about different forms of music, popular song, jazz, classical, opera and folk. I also researched or in listened to other tonalities of other countries and their composers. With the aid of the internet, listening to varied sounds and styles of music is accessible.
- Personally, I am constantly reading and learning from biographies or autobiographies about varied creators, composers or artists. They have challenged me. A quiet confidence in myself has enhanced my self esteem.
- At the end of your daily exercise you need a “cool down period.”” Journal your progress. What new things did you do in your own musical therapy? What pieces or songs did you work on? Rate your performance. Are they ready for the public?
- Keeping track of your own progress is a good way to have a documented record. Showing this information to your doctor or medical professional is wisdom-letting them see your daily activity. This journal would be used to invite their suggestions and comments.
I invite your feedback at firstname.lastname@example.org