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Other people as a resource: The peer group

My previous blogs on resilience have looked what it is, why we need it, and how we can cultivate it. This blog looks at other people as a source of resilience..

My own doctoral research highlighted the importance of other people and community in the lives of musicians. This didn’t only manifest in the relationships with audience members and friends, it also became very clear how the musicians drew a great deal of support and resilience (emotional regulation) from ‘giving back’ and being deeply understood by others. It was this perspective and my research findings that prompted the development of a growing community within the Tonic Peer group network. Our fundamental goal is to gradually grow a community of musicians of free mutual support.

Many psychotherapeutic and developmental frameworks suggest how we develop a sense of self-esteem and confidence through the eyes of our caregivers. This has also been backed up by music psychology research surrounding community musicians and music therapy settings. It is my belief that peer groups provide a rich environment to cultivate resilience and self-esteem through the mutual understanding involved with our nuanced profession. It is a difficult profession to understand and to navigate at the best of times, especially from the inside! The peer groups provide a place to be seen and heard in our most vulnerable states and also develop a feeling of being understood within this unique environment. I also believe that if you haven’t experienced the long hours in a practice room and the continual self-evaluation of being an artist it can be very difficult to understand the plight of a musician and those involved with the ecosystem in the modern world.

The feedback from the Tonic peer groups has been overwhelmingly positive. For me, having the privilege of cultivating these communities has been deeply invigorating, mutually supportive and full of vitality. So….if you are a musician or work in the ecosystem I would recommend trying this unique opportunity to meet others of a like mind and bring your own insight into the wins and losses of being a musician.

You can find all of the information here.

Also, don’t forget, for those of you who have missed the latest ‘Tonic Music’ radio show, you can catch up here. In this month’s upcoming radio show I talk to the amazing Rowetta about her own musicking community and what helps or hinders.


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