We are working on a book connecting music and resilience. Resilience is the ability to bounce back from adversity, to maintain a sense of happiness even during hard times. We’d like to learn some of the ways music has helped you in life. Have you ever gone through a difficult event or period where you found that music helped you to survive–even thrive?
We’re wondering if you have any thoughts about your reasons for choosing the music you did. For example, did it perhaps remind you of happier times in the past; did it offer you hope for a better times in the future; did it put you in touch with spiritual feelings, with a sense of transcendence?
If you can name specific pieces of music or recordings, that would help us even more to understand what particularly worked for you. But that is not necessary. Any random thoughts or guesses are interesting to us.
We hope you’ll join us yourself and/or send our question on to others. We can do both phone and in-person interviews. We guarantee that you will not be able to be identified in anything we use unless we have your written permission .
Here are the kinds of questions we are asking:
1. How does music figure in your earliest personal history? What influences shaped your musical taste?
2. If music has ever helped you cope with a crisis or ongoing problem, we’d like to hear what happened. What music did you listen to, either by conscious choice or not?
3. How would you describe the music’s effects on you emotionally, physically, or in any way?
4. Did you pick music with lyrics? How important were the words to you compared to the melody? What type of voice did you want to listen to in terms of gender, range, timbre, etc.?
5. What other characteristics of the music were important to you?
6. Were there special memories associated with the music you choise–personal, social, religious?
7. If there were particular times of day/night you would listen, what were they and why? What about favorite places to listen and other factors, such as being alone or with others, quiet or active, etc.?
9. Did you tend to listen to this music before the crisis? Did you continue to listen to it afterward?
10. What do you believe the music did to help you?
11. How likely would you be to turn intentionally to music during future periods of adversity? What, if anything, would you do differently (regarding music) if that should happen?
12. What are some of your “desert island choices” in music right now?
Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org with questions or the willingness to be interviewed. If you would prefer to send us written answers to these questions instead, we will appreciate that too and of course respect your confidentiality. But we would love to speak directly with you.
Lynne and Josh Berrett