While members of
the QFO/FHSO vary in personal background and musical training, they share
a common bond—a strong desire to make music with other musicians. The motivation
to learn or relearn a musical instrument in order to play in an orchestra
can be best undersood by identifying the many psychological benefits or
playing with a group such as the FHSO.
musicians in our orchestra illuminate the significant psychological benefits
gained by their participation at all stages of their lives. Retired individuals
from a variety or careers described playing in an orchestra as “returning
to my first love.” The war, financial depression, and family pressures
hindered many individuals from persuing music professionally. After fulfilling
family and business responsibilities, may individuals returned to what
they love best new that they have the time. Statements such as ‘playing
in an orchestra keeps me going; it fills the void of retired life,” are
heard among members. Making music not only keeps the mind and body active,
but as reported by several retired individuals, it provides an actual breathing,
living force to their lives.
Those members of
the orchestra in the prime of their outside careers and family lives emphasized
that playing in an orchestra serves as an emotional outlet. Self-expression
through music enables the working individual to release tension and come
closer to a total sense of sell-being. Daily stresses are put aside as
the mid and body focus on making harmonious, beautiful sounds. The weekly
rehearsals serve as healthy diversions from the negative feelings and thoughts
accumulated during the day. The physicians, psychologists, and teachers
in the orchestra, after listening to others all day, now have the opportunity
to express themselves through their instruments. Homemakers also have the
chance to escape from putting others first for a couple of hours a week
to focus on utilizing their own potential.
Students enjoy the
experience of feeling involved and contributing to a greater whole. They
also release tension from school and personal problems. The music majors
can try out their skills and gain confidence as they make solo debuts with
us. Talented musicians who lack confidence find our symphony a helpful
step in progressing to more competitive performance situations.
Let us not forget
the psychological benefits experienced by our conductor. His hard work
and patience are rewarded over and over again as he directs these musicians
from various backgrounds who share a strong desire to make music together
as members of the FHSO. He ‘looks forward to the rehearsal as a high point
of the week away from his public school teaching duties.
Diana Richman, Ph.D.