Friday, November 22, 2019 Presented by The Refinery Integrated Wellness Services Coachella Valley Weekly & Desert Music
By Noe Gutierrez
On Make Music Day June 21, 2019, Courtney Chambers, Marc Diaz and Daniel Torres of moZaiq performed at the first MUSIC + MENTAL HEALTH event at The Refinery Integrated Wellness Services, a group therapy practice located in Palm Desert, California. The therapists at The Refinery specialize in treating children, adolescents, and adults, as well as couples and families using various individualized treatment approaches. The role of music and music making in health, wellness and socialization has been shown to improve cognitive abilities, memory, motivation, and mood as well as help manage pain, diminish stress and reduce symptoms of depression (NAMMFoundation.org).
Music is entertainment but according to a growing number of studies, it makes you healthy too! The psychological benefits are unending. The fact that music pumps you up for an event or brings back fond memories is proof enough that your mental and physical health can be directly correlated with the listening to or making of music.
This Friday, November 22, 2019, The Refinery will again host MUSIC + MENTAL HEALTH with performances by Coachella Valley Music Award winners Empty Seat and Desert Reggae multi-instrumentalist Crucial Culture. The event begins at 5 p.m., is FREE, ALL AGES and OPEN TO THE PUBLIC! The Refinery will provide light refreshments and small bites. They are located at 45445 Portola Avenue, Suite 1, Palm Desert, CA 92260.
Coachella Valley Weekly is completely in support of music as a therapeutic tool used by health and wellness professionals. We asked several musicians associated with the event to share their personal stories on how music has helped them navigate difficult situations and why they feel music is so important to our community.
“I happened to go through a difficult time. My son was suffering from depression. We went through a tough time and I didn’t know what to do, so I would play my guitar to relieve my stress. I told my son that playing helped me with stress and other issues, so he started to play guitar. He’s actually doing great and completely recovered. I too suffered from depression and was on the receiving end of addiction and because of that I locked myself in a room and taught myself to play guitar. It changed my life.”
Red of EMPTY SEAT
“Music is medicine. It soothes the soul and calms the spirit. It makes us feel good. Music is an outlet and for me it was a way to ease my sorrow and anger. For me, it’s always easier to write a sad song rather than a happy one. It’s like releasing the pressure from within. For some of us it makes us feel good to be able to do that. Sometimes music is our best friend when we have no friends. Sometimes it takes us to another place mentally. Music is life for any age or disability. It doesn’t judge us. I lost my best friend at 16 years old. Music helped me release that pressure and pain from within. I was young and didn’t know how to deal with it so I started writing poetry and songs. That’s how I started. Music helps keep us sane. I know this.”
“Music has not been my escape, nor my religion, but my portal to the very depths of myself. It’s been the catalyst to working out my pain and giving me the tools to face my demons. That’s what my next record is going to be about. It’s time for me to heal, but it’s going to take work and it’s going to be painful but I’ll come through on the other side changed. I’m finally ready.”
Marc Diaz of moZaiq
“I’ve always been a HUGE proponent of the notion that music truly is the medicine that transcends and can heal illness, be it physical, mental or emotional…in a way that no other treatments can. As almost all of us know, it can lift your spirit in the lowest moments or the loneliest of places, and illuminate an otherwise hopeless darkness. Perhaps, it’s in a hook that speaks hope to me, or lyrics that I KNOW were meant just for me or at least someone who understands my pain, fear or struggle. Then again, maybe I just need to rage and hear a song that bumps and expresses my same pissed-off feelings at the moment. It’s ALL therapy. And if this is all true for me as a listener, imagine what it does for me to be able to write!”
‘Life, life without music, I can’t go no…’ (Steel Pulse–Roller Skates).