As I write my new book, Soundwork on a Hot Rock, I’m tracking the impact of intentional music and sound on our culture. I’ve been looking at this since the early 90’s. In the scope of things, I wonder if soundwork is a little thing or a big thing? This inquiry is especially important as global cultures face the biggest challenges of our lifetimes.
How will soundwork make a difference as we look for new balances and alignments?
While purposeful music/sound has been noticed for millennia in cultures around the world, our current affairs demand meaningful and effective modalities. Now, in 2022, the question about whether intentional music and sound should be taken seriously at the table of healing, wellness, and science, takes on significant gravity.
The current research of soundwork – typified by the $20+ million invested by the US National Institutes of Health in 2019 – speaks to the growing awareness in the academic and scientific communities that music and sound frequencies are to be taken quite seriously. These dollars are merely the beginning of long-term studies about the how and why music lights up the entire brain, not just the auditory cortex. In fact, many scientists use neurological studies of music as a baseline for understanding how the entire brain actually works.
For soundworkers, this recognition and absorption of soundwork into mainstream culture has the following impact:
• More jobs. As research continues, there will be more employment available for music and sound therapists at hospitals, clinics, labs, community centers, schools, etc.
• More respect. Soundworkers will no longer be looked at by big business, education, and government as a fringe phenomenon.
• Greater impact. As soundworkers begin to incorporate the findings of these current studies into their existing understandings, they will become more efficient in their work.
• Greater skillsets. Now soundworkers can expand what they already know and move into inter-related fields. No stagnancy allowed.
All the way around, there is more and it is great! The small but passionate field of soundwork has been humming along for a long time and deserves this acceleration into greater acceptance and expectation.
Now, how do we show up?
US National Institutes of Health and the National Endowment of the Arts Research
If you would like a list of existing research studies financed by the US National Institutes of Health and the National Endowment of the Arts click below to download
Learn more about Why Soundwork Research Matters by watching this Video HERE
Join Soundwork 21 Facebook discussion group HERE
Watch Shift Talk, Music and Sound in Disrupted Times – Expanding the Relevance of Soundwork for Cultures in Crises HERE