Today our expert guest is Bill Protzmann, whose volunteer work includes board positions with Guitars for Vets and the San Diego Veterans Coalition. He has been instrumental in connecting thousands of military service members and veterans with honor tickets to the largest healing organization involving music. You can read his articles online in places like Fox News and Psychology Today. For his foundational work establishing music as self care, he received an Inspiring Hope Award of Excellence from the National Council for Behavioral Health.
Bill’s behavioral healthcare began when he started playing music. His mom started him off with piano lessons very early, and he found that he was giving himself a place of peace and being okay with emotions from that day.
The ethos of bringing music to people in unusual situations opened him up to the idea that music could help people who are dealing with behavioral issues.
Sound and rhythm are fundamental to who we are. We are all set up to respond well to sound, and it’s an amazing skill that we have to trigger certain functions. Sound and music can activate our lizard brains and really reach us in a way that our cerebral cortex won’t allow.
How are we supposed to apply this into our own lives? Use music for a purpose. Do you have a song that makes you feel grateful? The feeling that’s triggered by that music is often the missing component from saying “thank you” and meaning it.
If you can find a song for each of the major four emotions: fear, anger, joy, and sadness and attribute the energy from those songs to those emotions, you can let the music help you make sense of those feelings.
In Bill’s latest book, More Than Human: The Value of Cultivating the Human Spirit in Your Organization, he talks about taking these musical therapy into a corporate setting. It is a good practice to have gratitude and appreciation in business now, and they are things that are innate to us as humans. The book is an attempt to soften the hard edge of business in a way that is evidence based and intrinsic to us.
The Biggest Helping: Today’s Most Important Takeaway
“Remove the connotation of negative or positive emotions. Emotions are just guard rails on our road. At the basic core of them, they’re just brain chemistry. If you’re too angry, keep your game face on, but that emotion is there for a reason. If, like me, you stuff those for 30 years, it’s not a good practice. Music gives us a safe way of experiencing it. Take a moment that fully lets you feel angry, experience it, and it will flow away from you if you allow it to.”
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