Start a Music Club!

  • (Thank you to Ian Sterry for sharing this project with us!)

    Have you ever heard a song that made you feel better when you were down?

    What about music that helped you notice what you were feeling?

    Maybe a melody that made you think of an exciting idea? 

  • Musical expression is an ancient art form and musicians have long known that it holds special ability to help us through our worries, sadness and other difficult feelings.

    How does music make you feel? Does it help you experience your feelings in a different way? What do you think about when listening to your favorite song? 

    Music moves us in so many ways! And the same song can make each of us feel and think different things.

  • I created my own music club when COVID-19 was just starting and it helped me and my friends get through really hard times. Having a safe place to share our anxious thoughts was a relief. We learned more about each other, talked about creativity and anxiety, and were introduced to new music, too. 

    Want to give it a try? Just grab a friend or a few and let’s get started!

    p.s. That’s me, Ian, over there on the right.

  • Step 1 of 6

    For these activities you’ll need:

    1. A friend or group of friends

    2. A way to listen to music i.e. a computer, smartphone, bluetooth speaker, home stereo

    3. A way to explore music, i.e. Spotify, Apple Music, YouTube, Tidal, CD’s, vinyl. Cick here for a list of free streaming services

    4.Writing materials 

    5. Elements of Music hand out (optional)

  • Step 2 of 6

    Okay, the first thing to do is get together with your friend(s) to plan your club. When will you meet? How often?

    It’s a good idea to come up with some agreements to help everyone feel safe while sharing their personal experiences and feelings. 

    It can also be helpful to follow the same routine each time you meet. For example, you could…

  • Step 3 of 6

    1. Start by listening to a song or two together then sharing how you felt and what you thought about while listening

    2. Spend some time talking about music. You can come up with your own questions or choose a few from the list in Step 4

    3. Get creative together by trying out one of the activities in Step 5 or coming up with your own project ideas

    4. End your session by listening to another song — maybe this time while drawing, listening with your eyes closed, or even dancing!

  • Step 4 of 6

    Here are some questions you can ask each other — or just follow your own curiosity!

    Remember: People like what they like and there is no right or wrong when it comes to the music we enjoy!

    1. Does your club need a name? What should it be?

    2. Do you have a favorite musician or band? A favorite kind of music?

    3. When do you like to listen to music?

    4. Is there a way or place you like to listen to music? Do you like to listen by yourself, with others, or both? Why?

    5. Does music make you want to dance? Sit still and listen? How does your body respond to it?

    6. What are songs you listen to when you feel sad, stressed or anxious? What about when you feel happy or excited?

    7. How does music help you when you feel anxious, stressed or sad?

    8. Do you play an instrument or sing? Is there an instrument you want to learn how to play? 

    9. Does your family listen to music? What kind of music? How do they listen to it?

    10. Have you ever listened to music on vinyl or a CD? How is the experience different than streaming music?

    11. Does how you listen (CD, vinyl, digital) change how music makes you feel? 

    Add your own questions!:

     

     

     

     

     

  • Step 5 of 6

    After you’ve had a chance to talk a bit, here are some things you can do together:

    1. Share one or two songs with each other, along with how you discovered it, what you like about it, when you like to listen to it, and any feelings or memories it brings up for you. 

    2. Write down and share some of your favorite songs to listen to when you’re feeling: sad, happy, anxious, excited. Take turns playing these songs for each other.

    3. Make a “Songs for hard times” playlist for each other. Give your playlist a title. If you want to, you can also come up with artwork for your playlist.

    4. Discover new music together by playing songs you’ve never heard before. What did you think? What did the songs make you feel? Will you be adding them to your playlist?

    5. Choose a mood playlist from a streaming service like Spotify. Pick out some songs to listen to together. What did you feel while listening? Do you agree that they should be on this mood playlist and not a different one?

    6. Find live concert videos online and watch them together

    7. Read this Elements of Music sheet together to explore words and language that can help you describe what you hear. What elements of music describe anxiety? Sadness? Happiness? Excitement?

    8. While listening to the same song, draw a “map” of where the song changes and goes. Share what you created and see if your friends can guess what your map means. You might need to listen more than once to finish your map.

    9. Draw in your journal while listening to songs. Talk about how your drawings and the colors you chose were influenced by what you were listening to. 

    10. Use each meeting to discuss one whole album chosen by one group member and listened to by everyone ahead of time.

    11. Work together to create an ongoing playlist to track your club’s musical journey 

    12. Between sessions, agree on a few songs for everyone to listen to and answer questions about, like:

    How were you feeling before, during and after you listened to this song? Did you notice any changes in how your body felt?  What thoughts came to you while listening?  

    These are just a few ideas. How you want to spend your time together is up to you. If something doesn’t work or feel good, try something else!

  • Step 6 of 6

    I hope you’ve enjoyed exploring music together! I believe it can be helpful in so many ways — from relaxing us to helping with anxious thoughts to connecting us to our own creative selves.

    Here’s to your creative selves! 

    Love,
    Ian