The power of music

Isabella Fels
I could not get by without music. Music has helped me in so many ways; surviving boarding school, motivating hard work at the gym, and feeling blessed in church singing hymns. Over the years I have wallowed in love ballads to cope with a broken heart. Uplifting bouncy tunes have helped me survive short-lived career moves. Music is a great cure for loneliness and boredom. I just go with the music and feel the flow and beat of excitement.
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Isabella Fels on 21/10/2013
Young boy listening to music on headphones

A child caught up in the "power of music"

I never truly found my feet at boarding school in Ballarat in years 11 and 12. I was bored, lonely and miserable. I simply didn't fit in no matter how hard I tried. In the end I got wired to music in order to cope with the pain of schoolyard rejection. I desperately wanted a walkman to escape the pain of warts and the cruelty of the other girls. They would constantly put me down and patronise me. Some hated my music and made fun of it, particularly Kylie Minogue and Olivia Newton-John.

But with music I felt connected. I communicated in my own way to artists such as sexy George Michael and crazy Cindy Lauper. I'd have a little party in my room, which was a little cubicle with walls not reaching the ceilings, so everyone in the dormitory could hear my loud music. Music was my special voice.

Music as a bridge

Music sometimes built a bridge between me and the other girls at boarding school. I remember some girls singing along with my favourites such as Cheap Wine by Cold Chisel and Physical by Olivia Newton-John. Other girls openly enjoyed Kylie Minogue and Madonna (about whom I was passionate). I even lent a tape of Madonna to some of the girls to listen and dance, to remove the frustration and claustrophobia of boarding school. Although I didn't join in, music made me feel closer and accepted by some of the girls at boarding school. I wished so hard that people would like me all the time.

Curing a broken heart

Later in life music was a cure for my broken heart. Many of the men I went out with misunderstood me. One of them said I was always out of it. However when we would dance and listen together, we felt a special bond I had never felt before. I also lent one boyfriend many of my tapes; he was rapt to listen to them. He particularly loved Mariah Carey and Laura Branigan. Afterwards when the relationship was over, I listened mournfully to the music we played together, remembering all the good and bad times.

Music for myself

Nowadays I lose myself in music for hours on end. It is difficult to concentrate with schizophrenia, and the power of music brings relief. When I need a break from work because my head is heavy, music rejuvenates me and relaxes me, making it easier to keep going. It is also great to wake up with the radio, or listen to my digital music player when sleeplessness at night sets in. It also stops all the agitation and restlessness connected to my disability, and even helps me work harder in the gym.

Knowledge and confidence

My knowledge of music is from the eighties. I can recognize a song from that era straight away, and would definitely give my self an A+ for music trivia. I love to sing uplifting hymns in church, and feel myself almost reaching the heavens with my singing.

Music is indeed my favourite activity in life. I would not be where I am today without my music. Without it, I would be totally lost.

Readers comments (3)

Very interesting. Helpful to read what it is like for a hearing person as I am Deaf and was like that since birth. I really have no idea what music sounds like but did join my hearing friends "listening" by feeling the beats in the music and the vibrations on the floor or on my heart. The older I become the more I try to imagine all sorts of music would sound. It is not because I wish I was hearing but because my three children love dancing to the music. I do sometimes can feel people's joy when listening to beautiful music and I am happy for them.

Thanks, Karli, for your great comments. I'm really glad you could relate to my music piece. Best wishes, Isabella.

Music has also helped me a lot with my disability.I sing in a choir and have done for many years.Music is my metaphor for living and has helped me through some very
dark and lonely periods during my life.Thanks for sharing Isabella I enjoyed reading
this article.

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