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Music therapy and mental health

Morgan: Welcome to Zeitgeist Radio, the podcast for music lovers to expand their horizons into new and interesting musical subcultures. I'm your host, Morgan Roe, founder of the Zeitgeist Academy. Each episode, I interview someone from a different musical community. Zeitgeist means spirit of the times. And my goal is to make that spirit come alive for you and help you appreciate musical communities you may not know much about.

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That's z e i t g e i s t academy dot com slash radio.

my guest today is Marlys Woods, a music therapist and CEO and founder of Get In Tune Music Therapy. Marlys, welcome to Zeitgeist Radio.

Marlys: Thank you. So excited to be here.

Morgan: . What I'm fascinated about musical therapy is that there are so many avenues that you can take with it. So I'm very excited to speak with you and get to know a little bit more about it. Can you give us an introduction of who you are musically?

Marlys: Yeah, I am a singer, originally vocalist by trade with some little skills in guitar and piano thanks to the degree of music therapy.

Morgan: Yes, yeah, singers, me too. I feel like music therapy is fairly niche. How did it come into your life? Like, where did you learn about music therapy?

Marlys: Yes. Luck, higher power, a God struck by lightning. All are the ways that I learned about music therapy. I was an athlete that did choir.

You know, as you do when you're in high school. If you're an athlete, that has to come first. Yeah. So I decided in college, I wanted to be, be a voice major. And then when I got to college, I learned, Oh shit. These people have been training for years and they really know aural skills in music theory and all that jazz.

And I was like, I'm way behind. Maybe this Orange County girl won't be a famous singer one day. I also went to a classical school, which was not my style at all. And so there was just like a lot of, whoa, reality checks. And I had a friend in my class. I was talking to her in my guitar class about How like, I should maybe have like a backup plan in case I don't become famous.

But I was like, I don't want to be a music teacher. Like that wasn't my thoughts at the time. And she's like, have you heard of music therapy? And I was like, no, is that a joke? And she was like, that's my major. Like, no. We've been in the same class for a year. What do you mean? That's a major at our school?

Let alone not the same major, but does that even exist? I didn't even know it existed, right? So that's like really how just small music therapy is, right? So just by the grace of God, I was at a school that had music therapy which it did not by the time I left. So I had a petition to get in and because my last name is Woods, I was literally the last to graduate.

Oh no. So, like I said, luck, divine intervention, stroke by lightning, all those things. I was just right place, right time. And I was really excited to hear about it because I had always said if I wasn't a music a musician, I would be a psych major. So it was like. The perfect pairing. But as I went on, I learned, wow, I don't have any time to perform because I'm literally taking psych classes, music therapy theory classes, and music classes, which if those that don't know listening, but probably a lot of you do.

A music class in in college is only 0. 5 credits. So, yeah, you're like taking an hour in that class and then, you know, a million hours practicing, so you were just, it was a very chaotic and intense major and there was no like failing because they were. Phasing out the program. So it was all these extra stresses.

But it was wonderful. I loved it. And that's how I got into it. Wow. Yeah,

Morgan: you weren't kidding. Like lightning, whatever. That's a lot of coincidences. That's pretty amazing. And so then you decided that you wanted to do this as a career. So there's a lot of different ways areas to go, right?

There's working with kids, working with seniors, , how did you make the decision or like pursue, like, cause you have to choose a specialty. Am I correct in that? Mm hmm. What did you choose?

Marlys: Yeah mental health.

Morgan: Mental health. Nice.

Marlys: So I knew from the beginning that I wanted to work in the mental health world and that is surprisingly enough for those listening, not what music therapists are big for.

Most people hear music therapy and they're like, oh yeah, we all use music for our emotions. That you would think that would be the main form of making a living, but it is not. It's really the Alzheimer's and dementia, like, the person you had on before, or working with kids with different intellectual or developmental disabilities.

So, or traumatic brain injuries, those are the 3 that are like. Sorry, there's 4 and Nick, you neo native and to neo native intensive care unit. Those are the 4 that we're known for. So I was lucky enough again to go to a program. So we have to do an internship after our. Schooling that was entrepreneur based and they had a lot of different opportunities that we could work with and lucky enough again.

I was at a program that had addiction at it and I was terrified and enthralled and that was what got me into mental health. Like again, I had known I wanted to, so I had asked like at the program, can I work?

And it was like the hardest thing I'd ever done because these clients are very different than other clients we work with in music therapy. They have an opinion and they talk back and they often don't want to be there. So they are really good at, like, poking at your insecurities and making you feel stupid.

And I loved it for some reason. Yes, it was very strange for me as well. The non confrontational kid that I am, it was very confusing, but fell in love with it. And again, that was like a luck thing, because that internship still exists, but they don't have any addiction interacting or sites anymore. So, so, yeah, I went through my program and got to that internship, got to do a couple of different groups. And as soon as I got out, I was like, okay, this is what my business is focusing on. We're doing mental health, specifically addiction. And I went back to school to get my licensed marriage and family therapy schooling, because I felt like I know how to do the music part for this, but I don't know, like, what do I say back to these people and like, what are the facts about mental health?

Who knows?

Morgan: So much there. Yes. Oh, well, I can't get wait to get into it with you before we dive in, though. Can you give us like a 5 year old level overview of kind of the mechanisms at work? When you listen to music I think it will kind of help frame like the, it, we know it has an impact on us, but how does that happen?

In a very, very brief, do you, are you able to go into that?

Marlys: Yeah, so number 1, if we're talking on kind of like the more like brain technical stuff, which is not my strong suit, so you guys are going to get a very short one of that. Music is really cool because it's one of the only stimuli known so far that turns on the most parts of our brain at once.

So that's why it's really helpful with people that have had traumatic brain injuries or different disabilities or or Alzheimer's because those parts, different parts of your brains, Is shutting off and because music works in multiple parts, we can connect to these people because of that. So that's really helpful in the mental health space, because with addiction or some of the different, mostly addiction our brain is, is damaged from using the different drugs and so music helps create new pathways to get through the damaged parts of the brain. So it's, that is like the technical side, but those are the 2 coolest parts to me, like, whether you are. Whether you are just singing along in your car, learning an instrument, doing a music therapy session, you are creating these new pathways in your brain to help it work in different ways.

So you make different decisions and then on the even like lower level. Not lower, but like, I don't know, easiest, easier level for us all to like, take in music increases the blood flow, flow to brain regions that generate and control your emotions. So, again, it's, it's fueling your emotions in different way, like, in it more intense ways, because it's increasing the blood flow and they even say that the limbic system, like, if they're taking an image of the brain when our ears listen to music, different parts of your brain actually, like, lights up. So it's pretty cool. And then it also. Like, triggers dopamine for us.

So we've all heard the coin terms of dopamine and serotonin. So music, can again, like, trigger that and, and, and release dopamine through your body, whether or not you're listening to the song or if you're just hearing like a few words, so kind of an example of that. That's for dopamine, but I'll give you guys another example.

For me, sometimes I have trouble sleeping. And so I listen to different meditations and this app that I use called Better Sleep, you get to choose the music behind it. And at this point, I don't even have to turn on the meditation anymore. I just turn on the sounds and it puts me to sleep. Sometimes the meditation is actually too much and I can't focus on it.

But the music never fails. It has trained my brain. As soon as it turns on, it starts to turn, my brain turns off and I start to fall asleep. So you can use music kind of like Pavlov's dogs to train your brain to either be happier or to be calmer, whatever it may be. So those are on like really basic levels.

Morgan: Yes, that's amazing. Thank you. So you have personal experience with how musical music affects us. All right, if you're comfortable, what is your story about how music has helped you, but also harmed you?

Marlys: Yes, I'm glad you asked that because that was my biggest surprise. So, you know, we all joke about, oh, it's music, kumbaya, and especially when we get hired places, like, the assholes in the group will be like, oh, what are you gonna sing kumbaya for us?

Come on And so as I was going through my training, I would have told you that music was like a lifesaver for me. I didn't really I wasn't able to put words to my emotions and I didn't even I was pretty numb. I didn't even realize. I was having these emotions until a song said it, and I would like hear it in a song and be like, oh my God, that's how I'm feeling.

And all of a sudden I would feel better because I finally could put words to what was going on, let alone belt it out and get it out of my body, right? As a singer. So I would have told you music was, Really helpful for me and like the only way I got in touch with what was going on for me. So I got into talk therapy because you do when you go into the training to be a therapist, you have to do your own My therapist enlightened me of how it was also keeping me stuck at the same time because I was listening to artists that luckily only talked about being guarded and not sharing their experience with anyone.

So, I'm just like Alicia keys or Kelly Clarkson and I don't tell anyone what's going on. I just scream out my lungs and pain and I was the happy go good, like, good kid got good grades, played sports. So, like. But the music I was listening to was Belting out pain and, but I didn't tell anyone, no one asked about my music.

So there was no moving through it. It was just, I was stuck in that space of I'm alone. No one gets what I'm going through except for this artist. So that's what I turned to. So I wasn't getting any help to move forward or open up or to share what, what, what was going on inside of me. And so realizing that is what sparked what my company provides to people is that listening to music can be this enlightening experience for us.

And for most of us, I'm sure everyone listening, you can think of a song at 1 point that you listen to over and over again, because it was what you were going through. And, if you're healthy, you move past that and it runs its course. You either sing it in the car or you just listen to it. Course, but for most of us, we need more, we need to get that emotion out of our body in some way.

So if you're a musician, you get it out of your body. So that's step 2 and that's great. But then the last step is that we also need to communicate with other people about what's going on so that we can get help, or we just need to communicate with ourselves so that we can get help. And so, Oh, All of what we do at Get In Tune is we teach people how to use music to identify what they're going through, which Most of us know how to do we then teach you.

How do you use music to get that out? Whether or not you're a musician, right? We might write some songs and rewrite the lyrics to some songs, or we might bang on some drums, or we might pair it with art or with meditation, but using music to get the emotion out of us. And then we have to share that with somebody and those 3 steps.

help us to move in an intentional direction of healing where most of us aren't like we're intentionally using music to like relate and to feel comforted but not to actually

Morgan: heal. Yes, I think this is so important. I know personally there's been There's songs and artists that I associate very strongly with certain parts in my life.

And if those parts are painful sometimes listening to an artist that was playing a lot, like Mumford Sons, I love them so much. I love them. I love them. I also happened to be like, like their kind of heyday was when I was going through a really difficult breakup and I was, it was like most emotional pain I've ever felt.

It was horrible. So now when Mumford and Sons comes on, I can't listen to them the same way. Like I, I have so much, like it takes me back physically to a place of pain and emotional distress. And I, I, I think it's so. Important that we talk about, like everyone says, music's so powerful. It has all this ability.

Well, it also has the ability to revert us to an unpleasant place in addition to a pleasant place. And I feel like we don't talk about that enough, so thank you.

Marlys: Yeah, no, you're absolutely right. And I'm happy you brought that up because that's also the second part that I didn't even bring up is that. Let alone what do we do when music triggers us in a negative way?

I was just saying the positives and how it caused me harm. Right. But what, okay. One thing I didn't share earlier was that music can cause you to feel or have a memory within 15 seconds.

Morgan: I believe that. Absolutely. I believe that. So if

Marlys: you are going about your day, having a good time, feeling good, and then you walk into that store.

And that Mumford and Sons song, I feel

Morgan: so bad for them. Cause it's, they're so good.

Marlys: And within 15 minutes or 15 seconds, you're sitting there crying in the store and you're like, why, what just happened? How is this possible? How did I just become undone within like 30 seconds? Right. And so we also, I like to joke now that music, we treat music like we treat just say no to drugs or just don't do sex.

We just assume that we all have the skills to say no to either of those pressure filled things. It's kind of the same with music. We just assume people know how to use music for their mental health, which we don't. We know how to listen to it. That part's easy, but what happens when it triggers us and we feel really sad or we're listening to artists that are worse than Alicia Keys and telling you to commit suicide or go shoot someone up or whatever it may be.

I read this really interesting book called music of hate and music of healing, or it switched one of the two, but it talks about in that book, how many Many hate groups use music to reel people in. That's horrible. And wild, right? Half the time, I think if you're not a vocalist, half the time people will say, Oh, I don't know.

I just liked the beat. That's why I like that song. They don't even realize the lyrics that are drawing them in. That also takes another set of awareness. So. If I think I'm just hanging out with my friends listening to this cool song, I might not realize that the subliminal messages are hate this person, hate that person, or kill somebody, or shoot them up.

And I'm just listening to the beat, right? And so there is just so much about music and, and yes, it is very powerful in a good way, in a bad way. So there's so much that we need to put out there. To let people know, how do you use music to make sure it's helping you heal? And there's a place for those sad songs.

There's a place for those angry songs, but how do you make sure it's not sending you into more hate, more anger, more sadness, that it's helping you get that energy out, but then moving you towards getting whatever help you need or just releasing it and, and being able to identify, Hey, I, I was able to get myself out of that and blah, blah, blah.


Morgan: Yeah. Oh, this is so important. And there even were again, I'm, I'm relating this to personal stories and there, there were songs that were very very hopeless, very sad. And there was a moment where I related to those so much. And it was like, someone was speaking to my soul in a way that It was a bad breakup.

Don't recommend. But I real, I did realize, and I'm glad that I was able to, is that I had to, like, stop listening to those artists. I had to kind of change feed new stuff into my brain. And actually for a while that was Mumford because they didn't, you know, it was, it was kind of a different sound and it was more it wasn't so ballady, lyrical, sad, depressing, you know, it's, it's more, so they helped me for sure, but yeah, I, I did realize I had to change the type, the style of music or the type of music that I listened to, or be very careful with How with the really raw stuff it at that time in my life.

Marlys: Yeah, and you're a brilliant human being that had that skill set to know that, right? There's so many of us that don't have that luxury because maybe we even notice it's not good for us, but that's what our friends are listening to. So we need to stay up on that or. This is the culture of my people. So I need to listen to that.

I have a friend that worked in the music industry for years as an accountant. And he was like, so many times these young black men would be coming in and being like, I need to do gangster rap, but they have these amazing voices, but they can't get out of that viewpoint that this glass ceiling, that this is what my color people can be famous for.

Let alone, right. That's for the trying to be famous, but let alone of like, no, this is what my people listen to. And oh shit, it's actually really negative or not great for me. You know, we don't, there's not all of us are blessed enough to have that realization that like, oh, this might not be good for me actually, or it doesn't actually ring true to who I am.

Yeah. It doesn't even have to be as dark as taking us down the wrong path. That might be just like, this isn't actually who I am. I had a. A friend that I performed with for a while and he, and when I performed, I was just doing the big belty songs and he said, you know, I would really, I think your voice is more suited to like, just like calm, quiet, like ballads that don't have to be these big belt songs.

And I was like, that's dumb. I'm not that type of singer. But now 10 years later that I've done my healing that's actually the music I listen to can't believe he was right That was a big surprise but I I like a good Guitar solo singer not you know, that's has some belty stuff. But like That's just like slow and contemplative.

And before I would have told you, no, it has to, it has to be at the top of my range for it to be good.

Morgan: Yes. Well, there's definitely some some cultural elements playing into that too, like the famous singers all are like that, the big, yes.

If you're like me, you already consider music a form of therapy. Like, I know several ways music helps me. It helps me get motivated in the gym. It helps me process emotions. It can calm me down or amp me up depending on what I want. However, before this conversation, I hadn't really thought of how music can harm or keep me stuck.

Marlys sent me a guide she uses called Transform Your Inner Storm, a guided musical experience for creating a powerful self image. How cool is that? I'm going to be sending that guide to the folks on my newsletter list. If you want to receive it too, head over to zeitgeistacademy. com slash radio and put your email in.

And if you're listening later and missed it, no worries. If you join the list, you can access the newsletter archives and still download the guide. That's z e i t g e i s t academy dot com slash radio.

Morgan: Do you love Irish music? Enrollment is open for the latest Zeitgeist Academy course, Irish Immersion, a six week, hands on musical exploration of the Emerald Isle. Whether you're a seasoned musician or just beginning your musical journey, this class is for you. Over six weeks, you'll experience Ireland coming to life through its vibrant folk music, taught by members of the Irish folk band Dórain.

Each week will also include an Irish dance and whisky pairing, whisky not included. Plus, experts from all sorts of Irish and Irish adjacent subcultures will be jumping in to say hello and share information about their communities. You'll learn to play hornpipes, jigs, reels, and more while experiencing the cultural and literal flavors of the Emerald Isle.

Head over to zeitgeistacademy. com to enroll. The class begins May 20th, 2024.

So if, if someone is finding themselves, if they're listening and they kind of recognize like, yeah, actually I am in kind of a position where, you know, I am being harmed.

And again, maybe not in a big way, but maybe in a, in micro ways throughout your day what can you recommend for them that they do?

Marlys: First, just that awareness like acknowledging that for yourself, like, okay, I think that maybe I shouldn't listen to this song as much, but what I would tell you to do first before cutting it off is to listen to it and think about why.

Am I drawn to it? Is there a line or two in this song that really stands out to me? Is it something about the way the instrumentation sounds, but like, why is this helping me right now? Or what part of this is or was helping me? So those Mumford songs, right? Like, oh, wow, that really explained what I was going through at that time.

Or It gave me an outlet to, to let my sadness out. Okay, so how do I get that out? Maybe I rewrite the lyrics to the song so that it's actually my story and my words. And it doesn't have to rhyme and be perfect, right? It's just like crossing out a few lines and saying what your story is. But now, you've acknowledged that part of your story and you've gotten it out.

And then it's, Well, what do I need to do with this? Do I need to share this with someone that maybe they can help me get help? Or do I just need to decide, okay, I use the song for what I needed it for. I needed to let out the sadness. And now I'm going to choose some songs that maybe are like about people that are sad, but also moving through it instead of just being sad.

And then maybe I transition myself after a week or two of listening to those songs to people that have gotten out of that sadness and have moved on to hope, right? So it's like intentionally choosing songs to move you to the direction that you want to go once you realize that it's not causing you whatever you, it was initially.

So it's like picking that song, looking at it for what is it that's helping me. Then picking your favorite way of expression. Maybe it's journaling, maybe it's moving your body, maybe it's meditation, but using something, maybe it's art to like get it out of your body and then communicating in some way so that you know, what can I do next to move me towards.

positivity. And again, maybe it's just listening to different types of songs or maybe it's actually like creating something.

Morgan: I'm picturing Marie Kondo. Thank you. You thank the song for what it has done for you. Yes,

Marlys: exactly. And that's where so many parents, right? Like make the mistake of being like, that's a horrible song.

Don't you ever listen to it? Like we don't want to be that horrible parent or not horrible parent. We don't want to be that scared parent that cuts it off. Because it did serve a purpose, just like we say with people that are drug addicts, like when you first started using drugs, it helped you for some reason, it helped you stop the pain, it helped you feel more social, it did something, there's a reason you were drawn to it, you're not an idiot, like, yeah, but then, It, it switched from being helpful to harmful, and so it's the same with this piece of music.

Like okay, let's thank it for how it helped me and protected me in whatever way I needed, but now let's move, let's intentionally move in a different direction. Yes.

Morgan: So, let's move in a different direction and shift to the positive, so, maybe we're, maybe I'm Not necessarily in a harmful place, but I do want to take a look at my playlist.

What are some ways that people can intentionally use music in beneficial ways in their just everyday life?

Marlys: Yeah, so similar to what I was saying finding, we all, we all are creative beings. We are all are musical beings. It's just whether or not you've worked that skill. So finding a way that you enjoy using music.

So maybe it's dancing to some fun songs, or maybe it's. Like I said, maybe you like to journal. So try and like, let me pick a song that I like right now and try writing my own lyrics to it. Or maybe it's, maybe you're an artist and like putting on a few songs that you enjoy and just seeing what do I draw when listening to these songs?

So, so it's the same thing as like, when you're sad, you use it to move you in a different direction when you're good. Let's use it to enhance that and, and support it. And just make it more fun or intentional than, Oh, that song was just on in the car, but like, Oh, you know what, I've been playing this song every day on the way to work.

Let me sit and take a look at like, what do I love about it? You know, or maybe it's just take it like, Hey. Let's meet up today, Morgan and talk about the songs that we love right now, right? It could be that that easy for making just a connection with someone that you love or a friend that somebody want to build a relationship with maybe, but using it as a way to connect like, Hey, I really like this song.

Like, what's the song you like right now? Or there are a million things you can do. To take music past just listening to it, right? But using it to actually connect which surprisingly, the way most of us use music is not a connecting way. It's actually pretty isolating, right? It's like, we throw on our headphones.

Don't talk to me. I'm doing my I'm listening to my songs right now, or I sing in the shower. I sing in the car. That's it. It's actually a pretty isolating thing unless you are at a concert. So how can you make it a, a way to connect with people? And that might be like, Hey, every Friday, let's meet them and talk about the songs we listened to this week.

Or one fun thing, especially if one person's artistic and one isn't, or both are not artistic is like picking like three songs each that you're enjoying at the moment. And putting them on and like every minute changing the song. And when you change the song, you change your papers. So you like draw for 1 minute, then you switch and you draw on theirs and you add something and then you switch and you draw on theirs and add something.

And then at the end of those 6 minutes, you get your paper back and you both look at it and you're like, We created something really cool or something really weird,

Morgan: but like, what a fascinating activity. I have four friends in mind immediately that I will be doing that with.

Marlys: Yeah. And maybe it's an odd amount of numbers that you need, but make sure there's like one, one more song than the amount of people so that you end up back with your paper.

Morgan: Oh, sure. It's like telestration, musical

Marlys: telestrations. That's amazing. Exactly. Yeah. So right. There's just, you just, just get creative and fun with it, you know, or maybe it's not art, but maybe it's like. Someone does a dance move and then the next person does that. They have to do that dance move and then a different one.

Like it can get, you can get as creative or fun with it as you want. I love

Morgan: how much you are bringing creativity and expression into this because yeah, I just, that's like you, I do dance. I do many types of dance. Blues dance, swing dance, folk dance, concert dance, you know, so I'm, I'm kind of used to moving my body that way, but these ways that you're talking about, whether it's movement or creating that, that's a very different mental thought process than listening.

Like when I think, like, I, I travel for my day job And I, I end up doing a lot of driving up and down California, which is a big state. So there's a lot of just like sitting and receiving with the radio on or with the playlist on, you know, that's a very different experience than these. You're like activating something different, the creative process in all of these examples you've given.

I think that's so interesting.

Marlys: Yeah, that, and that's like one of my main missions is like teaching people that you don't have to be. An artist, you guys can't see me, I'm using quotes, you don't have to be an artist to use creativity for fun or for your emotions. And I have been doing this for 12 years now, and so for 12 years, with groups ranging from 1 to 50 people, I bring in the same type of sessions.

And everyone that tries Can do it. Yes. You don't have to have any background to, you don't have to be a performing musician or a perfectionist artist or a, like, you don't have to create something that sells. You can just make up these silly fun things. Or these serious things that help you emote, even if you're not good at it, like, I'm really bad at art.

It's not my thing. I'm so bad at art. But I can scribble, I can scribble in black and dark blue and brown, and you're going to realize that looking at that paper, I'm not feeling good. Or I can use purples and pinks and blues or, you know, whatever colors you like, and you can realize like, oh, that person's calm or they're happy or, you know, depending on the colors you pick.

I still used art to get on my feelings, right? Yes. Or you can hum, even if you're not on the right note, or you can shake your body, even if you can't be on beat, or you can hit a table again, even if you're not on beat, you can still get out that, that emotion or amp up that emotion. You know, whatever it means may be that you need.

So music is not just for the. Talented people. If we're using it for our emotions, it's only for the talented people when they're trying to perform and get paid for it.

Morgan: Right. Yes, absolutely. So let's talk, tell me about Get In Tune. Where did this idea come from? How long have you had this business?

Tell me about your business.

Marlys: Yeah. I don't remember when that name actually became official, but I started providing music therapy services in roughly October, 2012 was when I finished my internship. So technically, I've been in the world of addiction since

april 2012, which is when I first started my internship. I was on my own starting October 2012, and I was board certified by February 2013. So technically, February 2013 is when my business started because I could go out and do things on my own and get paid. And then after a couple years of realizing, like, this is working kind of,

I should make it an official business, maybe 2014, 2015, I don't remember. But all of these things that I've been talking to you about are tools that help us get in tune. And after playing around with a lot of different names when that one came up, I don't know if it was me or a friend that I was asking for, but.

It just fit perfectly. So been working in addiction treatment centers since 2012. We have expanded to mental health treatment centers and eating disorder, treating treatment centers. So we are getting tuned specifically works with mental health only, and that's not normal for most music therapy companies, and it's really not normal for music therapists to even know how to work with mental health.

let alone that be all you do. So if you are listening to this and you're like, oh, I want to try this for my own needs really well, I would say come to us, but really ask some questions about how much if you know, a music therapist how much they've actually done with mental health, because, like, it, it takes a lot of extra training.

But. With that being said that's where we started. And then about the pandemic time, we started transitioning to also helping the everyday person because everyone's struggle struggles with stress, anxiety, and sadness sometimes, or all the time, especially in a global pandemic. Yes. So we have moved to also taking individual clients only virtually at the moment.

But so, you know, if you are quotes a normal person, or I should say a functioning person that someone hasn't gotten you for something yet. If you have some pains, let's put it that way. Or some upset things in your life we work with you. You don't have to be at the acute. Need of, like, being in a treatment center, because all of us could use music in a, in a better way than you're probably already using it.

So we do individual sessions and then we also do, like, an online workbook that you can buy in essence, we call it the DIY music therapy where it leads you through sessions on your own that you can do at your own time and it's at a cheaper price point, because not everyone can afford all of that.

You know, therapy, so it's that's an opportunity and I'll give you a heads up. We've had different friends give us feedback on it recently. It hits home pretty quickly. It's not just a, like, this is easy and fun. If you would like more easy and fun, we do have a weekly. Like, email that goes out that shows more light topics of ways you can use music.

So we kind of run the gamut of ways that you can use music in your life. And then I also train anyone that works with clients. So, if you're a. a therapist, a a coach. Those are maybe the main ones. I don't know. There's lots of ways you can help people, but those are probably the main titles. But if you are someone that helps people I also do a training that helps you to use music in mental health.

You can't say you're a music therapist, but you can have some ideas of like, how do I use music with my clients to help get them to a different

Morgan: place? Yes. Oh, that's amazing. What do you wish that people just generally, people knew more about using music in daily life? What do you wish that was more pervasive throughout our culture when it comes to this.

Marlys: The realization that, that we need to be taught how to use it.

Morgan: Yeah. Yeah. Amazing. Well, I have one last question for you, and I ask every guest this you know what zeitgeist means?

Marlys: I did read it and I, but I've forgotten. So please remind me. I remember it being cool, but I don't remember what it was.


Morgan: Zeitgeist means spirit of the times. It's German. And it refers to the kind of the, the, the. The collective feel of every, like there's, there's fashion and gossip and politics and like the collective feel of of a time, whether that's a point in time as for like a, a broader culture or even in, in micro cultures.

Like, if you go to a comic con, there's a certain zeitgeist, it feels different than if you're at, you know, an opera concert or something. So there's a word I've dubbed a zeitgeist moment, which is basically when through music. You tap into something bigger than yourself and we've all had it. And, and it's kind of that moment where you're just like, you're part of something larger and you, you, you understand, you connect with something in the music that is Bringing people together that, that others, you know, maybe it's an understanding or something has shifted in you, or maybe you're at a concert.

There's so many different places you can have it, but that moment where you connect to something bigger through music, I've, I've Dubbed that a zeitgeist moment. So what was a, either a recent or a memorable zeitgeist moment for you?

Marlys: Oh my God. So many came to mind as you were saying that, so my favorite band is named Johnny Swim and it's a husband and wife duo. And I've been to their concerts a lot, like 12 times. One time I was trying to get them to do something with me. So I purposely was at a bunch, but. Loved every moment. But I can remember one year, it was like Valentine's day or something type concert and they often will stop in the middle of it and just like share a moment or, you know, whatever it is they're feeling.

And I honestly don't even remember what the topic was on. Maybe this, like, we are like all, all like loved and meant to be here and like. And they would kind of sing and like riff on that, whatever their topic was. I can't remember the words right now, but I remember the feeling I had just feeling so connected to all those people there.

And my favorite artists say, speaking like my, you know, moments to the, or not my message to the world. That was one that I can think of. I think any time that a song hits me of like, Oh, that's what I'm feeling at this moment. Yeah.

Morgan: I mean, that's kind of your business in a way, I guess,

Marlys: manipulating that to happen.


But I would say like, so right now Being frank, like my business is on a lower, like in a, like a dip that it hasn't been in before. And a Johnny Swim song came on that I've heard over and over for years and realized in the middle of it, they do this, like they sing the normal song and then have a really long instrumental.

And then in the middle of that instrumental the woman sings this. empowering of like, you are seen, you will get past this and you will, I don't know if it's, you will be great, but like, you will be happy or empowered, you know, like things will change. And I remember like, all of a sudden realizing like, Wow, that is what I needed to hear.

And I just listened to that 20 seconds or 30 seconds, whatever it was over and over again. But it was the spirit of the time that I needed, like, yes, I'm in this low, but I am going to transition out of it eventually. And and it's just so funny because I could tell you, I've heard that song a thousand times and all of a sudden heard the words.

And then I've been traveling for the last year and a half. And then I remember being in South Africa and there was this choir of teenagers out singing and just that moment of like the seeing these beautiful talents out here on the streets, just performing and singing and getting the crowd involved.

It was just a moment of like the love and connection that the world does have. Yeah. Oh, I love that. I think those are my, my three ones.

Morgan: Those are wonderful, I'll share one that I thought I was like, okay, talking to a music therapist, I'll share one that I had recently, which is a new playlist. I've had a, I've had Pandora forever and it kind of.

Gets you, you know, plays the same songs on your stations over and over. And my friend introduced me to title and that's a different platform learning how to use it. And so I was driving back from a work trip down to the Southern California. And and I was like, I'll give this one a try. And I like kind of blues influenced like that.

That music is just, I love that like blues, blues, rock older blues, Chicago blues. And. This new playlist included a bunch of modern players and my old playlist had kind of been again, the same songs, the same older players, but these were people who are performing now, like these songs were new, but some of them were covers of songs I did know.

And. It just, it shifted my perspective, you know, when you're hearing the same music, like I know these songs, but they're done differently. And I just had this moment of shift of like, no, this music is still alive. People are absolutely out there still playing the blues and putting their own spin on it.

And that means something, you know, when the female vocalist is doing it this way, instead of B. B. King doing it this way, it's an interpretation of the same thing, but it means something different. So it's like, it's just like this mental shift.

Marlys: I have a similar experience. So when I met my husband and we were driving in the car, my husband likes like more punk rock style.

And he listens to a lot of punk rock bands that redo songs. Yeah. And so I'm like sitting in the car, you know, probably zoning out or doing whatever. And realize like, I'm singing these words, these words, this song feels really familiar, like on a deep level. Like what, what is this? And I realized it was a Kelly Clarkson song.

And I was like, what? Like these songs that meant so much to my teen years, this person I just met that ended up being my husband listens to the boy version of them. What? Like, one never even knew punk re did, like, Kelly Clarkson or It's been so funny, like, or like that Like, some newer artists, like Taylor Swift, all here, I'm listening to her once in a while.

Adele that Driver's License song by I can't remember her name at the moment, but like, These really traditionally female songs, and then I hear him listening to it and he half the time doesn't know their remakes and so I'll come by and be like, you know, this is an Adele song, right? Or a Taylor Swift song, and it's, or Oscar, Oscar, what is her name?

Ah, it's on the tip of my tongue. But anyways that was like a moment of just like, Yeah. Like you said, like the same song redone and I'm like, or, or so many Disney ones he has, like hearing, let it go. Or Moana's like, how far will I go? Punk rock version. Some of those are pretty bad ass.

Morgan: This makes me so happy.

Hey, whatever connects, man. I, I love it personally. When, when artists You know, cover I, I've overall, I think it's, it's a sign of respect and like recognition of like, I may not do your style, but I love what you made. I think that's, that's really

Marlys: cool. Well, yeah, for these like, angsty bands to be like.

I'm gonna sing some Taylor Swift. Like, that is an ode to them, right? Like, for them to like your lyrics or melody enough to want to learn it and record it.

Morgan: Yes! That's awesome. Oh, well, Marlys, thank you so much for being on my podcast.

Marlys: Thank you for reconnecting. I had a blast

thanks for tuning in to this episode of Zeitgeist Radio. If you'd like to take the next step in your musical journey, head over to zeitgeistacademy. com slash radio to join my newsletter. Seriously. It's fun and informative, and I never spam or sell your information. That's zeitgeistacademy. com slash radio.

Music for this episode was created by Ian Boswell. Please hit that subscribe button and tell all your friends you found a cool new podcast. See you next time.

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