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Rhythm: The Element of Movement

 

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After taking a coarse from Christine Stevens entitled “Music Medicine”, one of the concepts brought up in her coarse specifically, I had begun to look at , ignited reflection on the work I do, the concept of rhythm. Rhythm- the measurement of pulse, a regular scheduled timing of continuous sound and silence, movement and rest. Rhythm, the element that contains its players and grounds and supports them. It is the glue that holds the group together, while simultaneously moving them together. We start out life with a heartbeat, a regular pulse. Everything else develops from there and is grounded and supported by our own heartbeat.

The wonderful thing about rhythm is that it is absolutely non-discriminating, pulling anyone along despite age, race, background, or cognitive capacity to itself. It is an incredibly easily accessible and powerful tool in therapy. Even those who live seemingly unaware of their surroundings can be pulled by it, and often demonstrate for us one facet of their world in rhythm by rocking, flapping, pacing, etc., in a rhythm of their own. We can join them in their world and in their rhythm when it is not yet possible for them to join ours. Rhythm accesses lower-functioning parts of the brain which means its magnetic pull is accessible by all.

The possibilities to move, adapt, remove negative, pull positive, balance, increase, or decrease a skill, a thought, or a place of being “stuck”, all with a single tool. Rhythm is endless. How can you use rhythm to enact change? Even time moves itself in an even rhythm, changing slowly, day by day, to the same continuous pulse. Rhythm is free, with no invasive foreign chemicals being added to our body.

We are all born musical beings, moving through time, days, nights, months, and years at regularly scheduled intervals. We are all pulled by this pulse without realizing it or even stopping to choose it, most of the time. The most basic element of music- we are all born to it.

Antoinette Morrison, MT-BC

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