music

In our last installment of the Mental Health Matters series, we dive into some of the arts-based therapies in our area, speaking to practitioners who use music, visual art, and other methods to help their clients deal with grief, depression, and anxiety. WMRA's Randi B. Hagi reports.

Music speaks to us. It distracts us from hardship; it expresses emotions that we have trouble articulating. For music therapist Robby McCoubrey, the benefits aren't just in listening to a poignant song, but in making music together.

Pat Jarrett / VA Folklife

During the COVID-19 pandemic, artists and performers have been losing work and many have taken their craft online.  The VA Folklife Program recognized this and started the TRAIN program, which pairs master artists with students online. 

Every April, downtown Harrisonburg is home to a DIY music festival called MacRock which supports independent artists and musicians.  It began over twenty years ago as an extension of JMU’s college radio station WXJM.  It’s now independently run by a small group of dedicated music lovers like Grant Penrod who’s been involved with the festival for years.  The application deadline to apply

tortugadatacorp via Pixabay / Creative Commons

According to author and musician Gayla M. Mills, music brings people together, it enhances the humdrum of daily living and playing it can benefit your life in many ways.  Gayla is the featured author for December's Books & Brews.  She recently spoke with WMRA’s Chris Boros who asked her to describe when music entered her life.

Kid Pan Alley / https://www.kidpanalley.org/

Virginia’s Kid Pan Alley is on a mission to empower children to create their own music.  The group works with children to give kids an opportunity to work together to write their own song – both music and lyrics.

Andrea Turner via Pexels / Creative Commons

Listening to music on vinyl records has made a huge comeback over the years.  Once thought to be a dead format, vinyl is now responsible for a large portion of music sales throughout the world. 

Veteran Charlottesville songwriter, Ellis Paul, was on the road during the Unite the Right rally two years ago which erupted in deadly violence.  Coming back home to a city in mourning prompted him to pen “The Battle of Charlottesville” as a historical document of the incident.  WMRA’s Chris Boros spoke with Ellis Paul who described why this song was something he had to write.

This weekend (July 12-14) is the Red Wing Roots Music Festival, celebrating roots music with artists like Lucinda Williams, The Wood Brothers, and Tim O’Brien.  The festival is organized by Virginia’s The Steel Wheels - they headline the event every year.