Ceol is Cradh - musicians and mental health

Ceol is Cradh - musicians and mental health

I watched this very interesting documentary (in Gaelic and English with subtitles) by Mischa Macpherson on BBC Alba last night.
For those in the UK, you can watch it here:
https://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/m000r6mb/ceol-is-cradh

Here’s the blurb:
"Where would we be without music and musicians? So many of us derive pleasure from their talent and ability to move us, cheer us up or perfectly express how we feel. But research has shown that the majority of musicians struggle with depression or anxiety at some point in their lives. Singer Mischa MacPherson looks into some of the reasons behind this and speaks to various musicians to hear about the impact on their lives. Speaking openly and honestly, musicians such as Corrina Hewat and Ross Ainslie offer a powerful and personal insight into the issue."

Re: Ceol is Cradh - musicians and mental health

Very interesting Donald. Thanks.

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Re: Ceol is Cradh - musicians and mental health

Tapadh leibh!

Re: Ceol is Cradh - musicians and mental health

Wish I could view it (I’m not in UK). My wife and I both work in the mental health field. So many of our clients are artists of one kind and another.

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Re: Ceol is Cradh - musicians and mental health

Really interesting. All of the musicians in the documentary were high level, many of who relied on music to make their living. Some of them surprisingly felt that although they were at a very high level they could never be good enough, or at least felt that at some point in their lives.

I wonder how the issue translates to the more casual musicians. My guess is we all experience some highs and lows related to music, but they would be less likely to consume our lives compared to a professional.

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Re: Ceol is Cradh - musicians and mental health

My personal experience is that we tend to under appreciate our own skills because, when comparing ourselves to others, we focus on the things they do well that we do not do so well, rather than what we do better. "Familiarity breed contempt" comes to mind. Because we are used to hearing what we ourselves play all the time it sounds like nothing special, whereas when we hear other players we go "Wow!", because it sounds fresh.

If you are a professional then these feelings are probably more common simply because they are playing more music under more stressful conditions than us amateurs.