Aug. 1, 2022

The Power of Music: How Gray Baldwin Uses Sound to Transform Lives

The Power of Music: How Gray Baldwin Uses Sound to Transform Lives

Music connects and touches us in ways we never thought possible. In this episode, you will learn: 1. How sound affects us physically and emotionally2. The different ways music can be used as therapy3. How our bodies react to different types of music
When a music therapist specializing in LGBTQAI+ issues is asked about their work, they reveal the many ways music can be used to transform us, from the personal to the physical.
"Music is simply a vibration. All sound is vibrations created by whatever and they vibrate at different rates and depending on how high or low the note is."Gray Baldwin is a music therapist with over 25 years of clinical experience working with children, teens, adults, and older adults in behavioral health, medical, and hospital settings, as well as in schools and community music therapy settings. They specialize in queer issues, identity development, acute and chronic pain, trauma, and stress, and teach courses on research, music therapy, medical settings, practicum, supervision, mindfulness, ethics, and culturally responsive practices at several universities and colleges.
To find a therapist
Tedtalk about intersex

Music connects and touches us in ways we never thought possible. In this episode, you will learn: 1. How sound affects us physically and emotionally
2. The different ways music can be used as therapy
3. How our bodies react to different types of music


When a music therapist specializing in LGBTQAI+ issues is asked about her work, they reveal the many ways music can be used to transform us, from the personal to the physical.

"Music is simply a vibration. All sound is vibrations created by whatever and they vibrate at different rates and depending on how high or low the note is."

Gray Baldwin is a music therapist with over 25 years of clinical experience working with children, teens, adults, and older adults in behavioral health, medical, and hospital settings, as well as in schools and community music therapy settings. They specialize in queer issues, identity development, acute and chronic pain, trauma, and stress, and teach courses on research, music therapy, medical settings, practicum, supervision, mindfulness, ethics, and culturally responsive practices at several universities and colleges.




To find a therapist


The composer I spoke of last week was Arnold Schoenberg. Not Bartok. 
These are two music therapy orgs in the USA
This is the world federation of music therapy, an International org.


Gray Baldwin, MA, MT-BC
Music Therapist

Main Street Music Therapy
Wellness Through Creativity



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[00:00:00] Fawn: Music to my ears is listening to people I love, laughing; like a big belly laugh, or this is absurd, laugh. Like anything tha's just like, truly, really funny. And also listening to the birds sing early in the morning, actually anytime of the day, but early in the morning, it's pure


[00:00:22] Matt: Well, when it transitions, when everything's kind of that eerie, quiet, and then the sun is just thinking about showing up.

So it's maybe just a hint brighter and the birds start chirping. Absolutely. It's a nice transition and it's a nice way to start your day.

[00:00:37] Fawn: It's really wild because as soon as the sun starts just like manifesting, cracking, like there's a little Ray that comes up somewhere. It's like all the birds start applauding.

That's when they all start getting really loud. Have you noticed that. Is it just me?

[00:00:57] Matt: Absolutely. It's just, there is a point in time before that time is the one I was referring to.

[00:01:02] Fawn: Gotcha. I heard you. I heard you. I'm just talking about, you know,

[00:01:06] Matt: so hello everybody.

[00:01:08] Fawn: Hi everybody. Welcome back. Welcome back

also, our friend and family member, Gray Baldwin, who specializes in working with LGBTQAI2S+. We met last week. You all met her last week. Please go back and listen ,as Gray explains to us exactly what each letter means. We talked about identity. We started to touch on how sound connects and touches us.

We're gonna get more in depth about music today because Gray is an amazing therapist. Gray Baldwin is a music therapist. They are really truly, I know this from personal experience, a phenomenal therapist. They work with LGBTQAI2S+ they work with children.

They work with teens, adults, older adults. They have over 25 years music therapy, clinical experience at behavioral health settings, medical and hospice settings, schools, community music therapy, their work centers in humanism, queer theory, and culturally responsive practices. They specialize in queer issues, minority stress.


identity development, acute and chronic pain. Trauma and stress. In addition, they teach at several universities and colleges courses that focus on research, music therapy in medical settings, practicum, supervision, mindfulness, ethics, and culturally responsive practices. You can reach Gray by going to

We have other resources and links for you in the show notes today and for the show notes from last week. Here we go, everybody, please. Welcome back our beautiful friend and family member, Gray Baldwin. Welcome back, Gray. Thank you.

[00:03:24] Matt: Hello.

[00:03:25] Gray: Hey, how are you doing?

[00:03:27] Fawn: We are doing, uh, We're hanging in there, gray

how are you?

What's going on?

[00:03:36] Gray: Well, I'm doing well. Yeah, I'm doing very good this morning.

[00:03:42] Fawn: I really appreciate and appreciated our talk last week. We were laughing to ourselves because when we finished, we realized we really didn't get into the music therapy part because there was so much to get into. This is such a big conversation.

So today we're gonna get into music and exactly what you do and how music transforms us. Take it away, guys. I feel like I need to listen more because, you know, I told you guys, I, I listen to the TV. I listen to music. I love music and the birds.

So let's get into it. What do you have to say? I know that sound affects us. I talked about the resonance mm-hmm and for me, music comes in many forms. For me music is listening to the voice of people I love or people in general. I feel like every tone, every and as a yoga teacher, I know I've studied ayurvedic medicine and everything.

And for example, ha which comes in in laughter like, ha ha ha. If you repeat ha it's totally healing. So what do you have to say guys?

[00:04:55] Matt: yes, indeed. Music certainly plays a role, a wonderful central role I think in my life, I think I probably end up listening to music at least an hour or two every single day. I'm always churning through. I'm listening to new things frequently. And yet ironically, most of it is in this tiny little genre that nobody's ever heard about before.

[00:05:16] Fawn: What's that? What do you mean?

[00:05:19] Matt: so I like listening to Euro Prague, power metal

[00:05:22] Fawn: cause people

[00:05:22] Matt: ask me all the time ever heard of nobody knows nobody even like name a band. Every

[00:05:28] Fawn: time someone asks me, what kind of music you listen to? Mm-hmm I try to tell 'em and you overhear me and you always disagree with what I'm saying.

So I still don't understand what, what anyway. Yeah. It's okay. It's a bunch

[00:05:38] Matt: of specific do think fans that kind of hang out around the Netherlands and Germany and yeah, it's all very, very European Sweden. It's all very European and it's all very, do

[00:05:49] Fawn: you uplifting? Do you think you'll like. because at your core, in your ancestry, those are the sounds you come from.

[00:05:58] Matt: And that, that very well could be. I mean, I certainly feel a stirring. Like I think I'm one of the few people on planet earth who's not Scottish, like not like lives in Scotland, Scottish who can listen to bagpipes and go, oh my God, that's beautiful,

[00:06:12] Fawn: but

[00:06:12] Matt: you are Scottish, but I am, that's in certainly, certainly somewhere in, in my ancestry.

But I think that you lose that when you leave Scotland.

[00:06:20] Fawn: I, I don't know if we actually ever lose our, umbilical, spiritual, umbilical cord, what we're connected to, our mother mother land or whatever the term is.

[00:06:34] Matt: I do have to wonder, but I can draw literally a straight line from the first music that I really enjoyed listening to, to what I listen to. Now, there is, there is a legacy, there is a heritage and I can bore everybody with it, but basically theoretically heavy metal descends from like, and of course everything is argued.

So this is just me talking, but heavy metal kind of descends from, you have your British bands. Actually you have Led Zeppelin and you have Black Sabbath, black Sabbath it was very flat and they put some blues in their rock and roll and made it all super heavy.

Led Zeppelin provided a heck of a lot of technical expertise and nobody can tell you that stairway to heaven is a bad song. Everybody can complain about Sabbath, but nobody can actually really successfully complain about "Stairway to Heaven" is just one of those like flawless songs eternal.

And from there, everything kind of diverged and America picked up more of a bluesy rock and roll sound. And then in Europe, they picked up more of a classical sound. They put classical influences into it and that's where I descend from. So as a legacy you've got basically one of your standard bears.

Ironically is not actually European, but you've got like Ronnie James Dio. And, and Dio's band, very eclipsing. So, you know, it descends from that it's classically oriented in classical music, supposedly, and we have a music theorist here. So this is a good thing, but classical music supposedly, makes you smarter.

any idea why that is, Gray?

[00:08:05] Gray: So, yeah, that was a study done by, by a German school teacher that she played, Mozart before test for her math students and they scored much better. So then, some people jumped onto it and talked about the Mozart effect and the effect of classical music making us all smarter.

But then that study's been replicated many times in many different ways, and it's not really proven to do that. Uh,

[00:08:30] Matt: Yeah. Yeah. I'm kind, I'm kind of not surprised at that at all to be honest, cuz I would imagine like listening to Mozart's Requiem would probably bring your test scores down because this is, this is by the way, this is the, this is what Mozart wrote for his own death.

It's very depressing. It's it's I, I listen to it and I have a couple different versions of it. I really enjoy it. Enjoy is not quite the right word though, because it is very depressing, but I listen to it at those moments that I need to capture some sorrow and I need to bottle it and then move on.

[00:09:02] Fawn: Mm-hmm you know, I'm not, I don't have a master's degree here in this or anything, but I think thinking about what makes you smarter. I think what it really is, is a sense of comfort and getting across emotion and sharing emotion. I think that's what makes you smarter. It's not about IQ points case in point, I had an algebra teacher in high school who realized we were all nervous. , you know, we were all bright kids, but no matter how much we studied, we would get Ds. when it came to testing.

[00:09:36] Matt: Oh dear.

[00:09:36] Fawn: And so one day she's like she was saying, okay guys, let's forget this.

I, you know, we're gonna do it this way today. I think we had like a test that day, a big test. I was gonna say a pop quiz. It was a test. And she said, all right, I'm gonna play some jazz music while you take the test. Matt is shaking his head cuz he hates jazz.

[00:09:57] Matt: Hold on.

[00:09:58] Fawn: It helped so much.

It helped. I don't remember what grade I got, but I really appreciated that there was such care involved and it was a loving atmosphere that was created out of music. You know, because of music and because this woman cared for us enough to think, you know what, let me comfort you. We can move through this.

And you know, none of us were math experts because we hated it because no matter, like I said, no matter how hard we tried, most of us seemed to fail. It was horrible. And like me, I don't do well with tests. If you put me on the spot, I just freeze. And so that was such a wonderful way. I think that was my first introduction to therapy, like music as therapy.

Is that what it is Gray? Is that what happens when people come to you and you work with music? What is music therapy?

[00:10:53] Gray: Yeah. That, I mean, that's one of the things that can happen. Yeah. Music therapy is basically it's, using music in a therapeutic process to work on people's goals towards wellness or whatever they're working on.

So that's super vague but that's what we do. And so we're trained both in music and in psychology and human development and in anatomy and other sciences. So we're trained to be therapists who use music as our main mode for our work. And so sessions with me can look a lot at different ways. My work right now is all virtual.

I'm hoping to open my office soon, and then I'll be virtual and in person where I am, but yeah, some of my folks I work with, we just talk and that's what they'd like to do. It's really based on what people are comfortable with doing.

And I'm trained in talk therapy techniques. With some of my folks, a lot of folks, actually, we listen to songs that have importance or songs that people like or songs that I think of and I'm like, Hey, what do you think about this song maybe a song to talk about a specific issue that the person is, going through, but we'll listen to it

and then they'll talk about the words and what's the songwriter saying? And what does it mean to us. I'm sure probably everybody's had that experience where you listen to a song you're like, oh my God, that's exactly how I feel.

You know,

[00:12:15] Fawn: so true.

[00:12:16] Gray: Probably had it more than once.

[00:12:18] Matt: Yeah. What would you say? Yeah, there, there certainly are those, uh, songs for me personally that are touchpoints; either they take me into that place that I was at that moment in time or they so clearly define how I'm feeling or they just help me release emotions, you know, mm-hmm um, I've I've yeah.

Having kids makes you a heck of a lot more emotional and music can tap into that kind of stuff.

[00:12:46] Gray: Oh my God. It sure does. yeah,

[00:12:48] Matt: I'm sorry. But, and it's AMA, it's an amazing thing because I'm so close to these little critters and you know, so much of, you know who they are and, and I'm watching them evolve and, oh my goodness.

[00:13:01] Fawn: I haven't slept since we had kids seriously. Um, it is terrifying. Everything is terrifying for me as a mom. Right? You're you are much more laid

[00:13:09] Matt: back. Just I, I sleep like a baby. Absolutely. I wake up every couple hours crying and screaming. No, you

[00:13:14] Fawn: don't. You don't. That's not true. That's not true. I'm just on guard 24 7.

Because I'm worried about all the babies, including you, Matt. Anyway, um, you know, some music, some sound for me is like kryptonite. Like for example, you even, right. I, every time I mention jazz, you shrivel up like a prune and you make a face. Like you hate it. And sometimes when I need calm, I need to hear a certain vibration.

And it's totally the opposite of what you need to hear when you're also feeling that. And like when we're driving, I always feel nervous and you put on your music and I swear, I feel like I I'm just, I I'm going to explode. Like I can't, I can't listen to what you're listening to. It doesn't calm me down.

It doesn't make me. Strong, but it has the opposite effect for you. Well,

[00:14:12] Matt: music that I like to listen to in the car is different than music I like to listen to when I'm listening on really good headphones is different than music I like to listen to when I'm coding is different than, I mean, there's so much inside this tiny little genre, no less.

There's so much variation. And, and yes, some of the music I listen to is very crunch and some of it isn't and some of it's very light and airy. I just played you, uh, a band I just recently discovered, uh, and literally it's power metal, but it sounds like Christmas music. They're they're using similar notes and similar structures to it.

And it's it. It's quite an amazing thing. Yeah. Once

[00:14:51] Fawn: you explain that to me, or you said that little tidbit about the music, I'm like, oh, I, I, I can hear that now. Yeah, that's true. But anyway, just getting back to kryptonite, as opposed to healing .Last week, we were talking about HZ and what that was and how there are these studies out there that are proving that it reduces pain and it reduces symptoms of certain diseases by just hearing a vibration.

And this is something I've been looking into for a while. I'm not an expert I'm just learning as much as I can about it. Gray, do you have any insight on how it actually touches us as. As far as the physical level and creates change in us, not just on an emotional level. I mean, it's a really big deal, right?

[00:15:44] Gray: Yeah. I, so I've not studied like the, uh, music healing but I am familiar with the information out there about 40 HZ but it's not something I know a whole lot about beyond just what I've read and heard. But I do know about music and like, so music is simply a vibration. All sound is vibrations created by whatever, you know, and, uh, they vibrate at different rates and depending upon how high or low the note is, and then also the texture, or in music, we called the Tamber of the sound, which makes my voice sound like me and your voice sound like you and a flute sound like a flute compared to a bassoon, which sounds very different. And so those are all the different Tambers. They changed ,the shape of the sine wave.

Pure sound is just a perfect sine wave, but then, you know, with the different textures, it, uh, it becomes, uh, somewhat different shaped. And so, and so our bodies are being, you know, all these vibrations are, they're just vibrations and they're coming at us. And so they, they do go into our ears, which then process it and turn it into sound in our minds.

Um, but they also are, you know, coming into our bodies in, in different ways. Um, you know, and so, and we react to them differently. I think, uh, with the physical, the physical information that's coming into. I know that like when I was a, when I, um, uh, well, I have, I haven't played it for a long time, but I used to play the baritone saxophone all the time and that's the instrument I majored on.

It's a very low rumbly instrument. I used to love how I could feel the vibrations as I played all through my body and just how it rumbled around inside of me.

[00:17:28] Matt: Nice.

[00:17:29] Fawn: And, uh, it just, it reminds me as you're speaking Gray, it reminds me, I wonder what the connection is to going back to hearing in utero, the vibrations and all the sounds that took place when we are being carried by our mothers, when we're in the womb.

And when you have babies, they tell you when the baby needs calming down, try to make the same sounds that the fetus may be heard in the womb. So like a sh that sound, or like the sound of a vacuum cleaner, oddly enough, calms them down when they're infants. Interesting. It's just, um, it's wild and we are vibrational beings.

We are electronic electric beings. Everything is vibrational. It's really fascinating. You know, it's like we say, look at pay attention to trifles.

[00:18:21] Matt: Mm-hmm

[00:18:22] Fawn: not truffles, which are delicious, but just pay attention to trifles

[00:18:26] Matt: the little things,

[00:18:27] Fawn: the little things, have big information in them. Lots of information.


[00:18:33] Gray: So a little bit more about music therapy. Sometimes listening to music, sometimes I sing to the people that I'm working with or, we sing together. It can also be, playing instruments, like sometimes improvising together or learning to play an instrument.

But not doing it to work on. Like we're yes. We're trying to sound good on instruments and stuff, but that's not the number one goal like it is in music education. It's more the process of using an instrument to work on other things within our lives, you know, like, uh, I, taught, ukulele and other instruments to folks who have executive function issues.

And so using the process of learning an instrument to work on those issues.

[00:19:14] Fawn: Oh, what, first of all, what is an executive functional issue? Is that my, oh,

[00:19:19] Gray: it's a bunch of different, it's a, thing like time management and, thinking about how to sequence things. There's a lot of things are within that.

[00:19:29] Fawn: That's fascinating. So why they ukulele.

[00:19:33] Gray: Oh, it's cuz of the instrument they, that, those folks were interested in and they're an inexpensive instrument and they're easy one to learn to play. And so, yeah, but the, the organization of music and the process of learning how to play something like coordinating your hands, doing two different things.

And then even if you then sing with it, then coordinating with that happening all at the same time, it exercises the brain a lot.

[00:19:59] Matt: Yes. I can imagine. And four strings certainly easier than six or 12 on a guitar and the neck is shorter and everything else. I actually wanted to circle back and I wanted to

[00:20:10] Fawn: talk, wait, I think I cut Gray off though.

[00:20:13] Gray: Oh, yeah, we just do that. Can go really quick that we also do music and relaxations, uh, interventions or like music and meditation. I do that with my folks that I work with. And sometimes I offer free music meditations for people on zoom. And then sometimes I incorporate other arts into it.

Like we'll listen to music and draw or move or paint or write poetry or something. Words are wonderful, but sometimes our experiences are beyond words and the arts are ways that we can express things that we can't do with words like, um, I don't.

Have you ever had like a friend who went through a breakup and you know, months later they're still talking about it. They're like a plane, like circling an airport and they never quite land. Well, the arts have a way of making you land into your experience and move through it in a way that words don't.

And so that's why all of the arts, like music therapy, art therapy, dance, movement therapy, they all are really and drama therapy, they are very powerful in a way that words aren't because they get us embodied into our experiences and help us to share them in a way that words don't allow us to.

So the arts make the plane land into the airport, into your experiences and your emotions. And then when you do something creative, you're taking those emotions and putting them outside of you into that creative thing that you create, whether it's something just in the moment, like singing in the moment or a song that we write and then record, you know, either of those. it doesn't matter.

It's just, you're putting it outside of you. And then you reprocessed it back into yourself in a way that's can store it differently. Kinda like you went through your closet and you put things in boxes and suddenly things fit


[00:22:00] Fawn: You know, you say that, music, I'm sorry. I'm interrupting Matt.

Can I just say something? It also helps us to band together much like you said, that words don't often, sometimes they don't convey what we want them to. And sometimes when you're trying to support someone, words don't cut it. But music does. When my friend was going through a bad breakup. I on full blast, put on this one song and it's a disco song.

Um, now walk out the door. You're not, you're not welcome here anymore.

[00:22:36] Gray: Gloria Gaynor

[00:22:37] Fawn: yes.

[00:22:38] Gray: Gloria Gaynor "I Will Survive"

[00:22:39] Fawn: Yes, I will survive. And we would blast that so loud that the neighborhood could hear it from our apartment and we would laugh and cry and then we felt totally relieved at the end. yeah, I totally

[00:22:55] Matt: interrupted you.

And again, yes, absolutely connecting, but I wanted to circle back. I wanted to go way I wanted to actually go way set the way back machine for prehistoric times. Did you know that Neanderthals had 15% bigger brain capacity than homo


[00:23:12] Fawn: Well, is that because our brains are getting bigger and that's why our brains are brains

[00:23:16] Matt: are getting bigger, but this is talking about way back in the day.

And yet we took them out. There are no more Neanderthals. One of the reasons why they think that might be is because, Neanderthals had thicker skulls mm-hmm and homo sapiens have thin skulls. So all of a sudden, like sound is very different sound will actually vibrate your whole brain. Have you ever heard one of those sounds that like, you feel like it's just rattling everything.

Yeah. When I

[00:23:43] Fawn: drive with you and you're listening to your music ,

[00:23:45] Matt: as it turns out, scientists believe that, uh, you've got this ceribral spinal fluid that surrounds your brain and kind of keeps it safe and whatnot. And when it gets agitated, , it's like a washing machine and it gets itself clean. Oh. And it does a better job cleaning and lubricating your brain.

And so one of the theories is that the Neanderthals all had dirty brains and a dirty brain can't process information as fast. And can't pick up new pieces of information, which is interesting. And, and what's even more interesting is. They've discovered things like mantras in particular mantra, do a good job, rattling the brain.

[00:24:26] Fawn: They do. Yes, because they vibrate.

[00:24:28] Matt: And so they help clean you out. And listening to music, at punishing volumes may and does do something similar. So that helps us process and bring in new information.

[00:24:39] Fawn: That's interesting because when I listen to someone humming, as they're humming a song going about the day, I feel safe when someone is humming, no one really hums.

[00:24:52] Matt: I think it shows a certain carefreeness and a certain, uh,

[00:24:56] Fawn: like everything's okay.

[00:24:56] Matt: Kind of freedom. and a person who feels comfortable enough to gotta help us even sing in public is somebody who feels very comfortable and confident and confidence is catching. It's very easy when you see somebody confident to then feel confident yourself.

I think.

[00:25:12] Fawn: Gray is nodding mm-hmm

[00:25:17] Gray: Yeah. Confidence is very, very powerful

[00:25:19] Matt: and very sexy.

[00:25:21] Gray: Yeah.

[00:25:22] Matt: so here's something, I have a question for you Gray. I remember way back in the day, and I always thought this was very interesting and unusual, but like when an album, a new release by a band would happen, and this was way back when, when there weren't necessarily a ton of bands, listen, uh, playing the genre that I listened to.

So each new album was kind of an event or, you know, and it should be, it's just, we have, there's so many, there's so many bands and there's so much going on all the time now, I can always find something new to listen to. But I remember something that was interesting and I felt it, and other people felt it, but it was like, so you get a new album by the, by a band you really liked, and then you would struggle with it for a minute.

And it was almost like, and I, I would describe it as I had to digest it. And then I could enjoy it. But at first you were just in the state of puzzlement, like, what is this? And then eventually, the unfamiliar would become familiar and you would like it. Sometimes it almost felt like it was, you were struggling and trying really hard to like it maybe is, is almost how it felt. Is that something you've come across?

And, and what do you think about that?

[00:26:29] Gray: Yeah, within music there's novelty, like new things that are happening in music and then there's familiarity. Depending upon our state of mind, like sometimes we might want more familiarity versus more novelty.

I have the same experience when a new, like a favorite band releases, a new song or new album I'll listen to it. And with some of the songs I'm like, oh yeah, you know, but then other ones I'm like, oh, cuz they, you know, they're going and growing in new directions. And I have to

spend some time with it and digest it like you said, and have it become more familiar and to find the places that I can connect to within it. And if you think about in classical music, like the most, the best example of familiarity, like is, Ravel's - Bo lero and where they just repeat the same theme over and over in different instruments and get louder and louder.

Sometimes I love listening to that, but I do remember when I played it, like I've just wanted to do, uh, just it's just so boring cause you just play the same. Cause I play, you know, play the low instrument. So I'm just playing the same, like, you know, like the, the, I don't even remember the part right now, but it's the same, like just few notes over and over of like the, you know, moving the right, the piece along.

But then also when I performed, solo, classical music that my instructor gave me, like, he's very, avant guard or, or new classical pieces that had no tonality it felt like they were just notes all over the place and sometimes fast and sometimes slow.

And I would like, I would be like, it was so hard for me

[00:28:03] Matt: that that sounds like jazz to me. But yeah, go ahead.

[00:28:06] Gray: No, yeah, no, just as hard to get into those pieces. Yeah. AB AB ( Matt is trying to say "absolutely") actually, I, I love jazz, but I like older jazz. I I'm not as big. And, you know, I don't, I find it a little unsettling, the newer jazz out there, because I think I like to have more of a tonality and some, predictability within the music, even if it's a new piece, I know that it's still gonna follow like a similar, might have a few chords that are different or whatever, but it's gonna follow like a similar arc.

[00:28:34] Matt: interesting. Yeah. I think one of the reasons why I have such a, aversion to jazz, and this is of course heresy and blasphemy for me right now, but there's a Charlie Brown, Christmas special with, and Vince Garabaldi trio performs in it and I can't stand it and it blasphemy. And I know that. I know I'm supposed to like it and I'm like, no, I, I just can't do it.

I don't know if it's I'm exhausted or it is requiring too much attention. I'm not sure what is the problem, but it kind of drives me nuts.

[00:29:00] Fawn: You can't speak about jazz like that because there's so many different kinds of, I know,

[00:29:04] Matt: and that's the problem, right.

And I feel bad,

[00:29:07] Fawn: but like with classical music, there's like the happy four seasons music and then classical light, you know, there's, and then there's some terrible depressing stuff. So you can't just put a blanket

[00:29:20] Matt: to, and I know that and it's one of my failings. I would really like to figure out how to crack open

that nut.

[00:29:26] Fawn: You know what it's like you and beets. I love beets. We make beets, you know, we'll like get fresh beets.

[00:29:33] Matt: This would be the vegetable,

[00:29:34] Fawn: the vegetable, not the music beats . But, but because growing up, you only had vegetables coming out of a can to this day. You, you Blaspheme the beet

[00:29:48] Matt: yes, I do. So. Yeah, exactly. So listeners, if you have,

[00:29:52] Gray: how do you blaspheme beets?

[00:29:54] Matt: I just, I won't eat 'em I'll wrinkle my nose at 'em. I'll be like, Ugh.

[00:29:57] Gray: Oh, okay.

[00:29:58] Fawn: Disrespectful.

[00:29:59] Matt: I'm I'm yeah, I disrespect the beet. So listeners, if you have a suggestion for a way to get me to listen to jazz, a pathway, I'd love to hear it. Because I do try. I definitely do try

[00:30:11] Fawn: do you?!

[00:30:12] Matt: I do. I haven't tried with jazz in a long time.

Okay. Like, but I actually, at one of my jobs, I actually had a cultural, we did a cultural, like swapping of music and I went to this person and we exchanged a couple of CDs. They weren't bad, but it's like, what did they give me? They gave me miles Davis. And it was too much. Mm-hmm , you know, it's

[00:30:34] Fawn: like, what about Louis Armstrong?

You know,

[00:30:37] Matt: Louis Armstrong is he, I don't know. I don't know. What is he? He's, he's a singular figure and I'm not necess, I, his music is reasonably enjoyable, but it's not something I would, I would pick up off the shelf to listen to it. It doesn't. So that's, it doesn't convey the mood. It doesn't, uh, move me forward.

It doesn't do a lot.

[00:30:58] Gray: There is no like one music that's like that everybody likes. That's why there's so many different genres. They're so different and it's weird, but it's cool how music resonates with you. Like one type of music really resonates with you and while other genres don't.

And so like a great example of that is that I grew up around country music and I do not like, sorry, I don't like it that much. And uh,

[00:31:22] Matt: oh dear, dear. Oh dear.

[00:31:23] Gray: And yeah, but uh, of course, thank you universe. My daughter loves country music. And so I'm once again, having to listen to it all the time. And so, you know, but it.

And she doesn't like the music that I like. And, actually nobody in the house likes the music I like, so I'm right there with you, Matt. But, uh, but that's okay that this is the music that I, that resonates with me and everybody. I work with likes different music. There's no, like there's no like two Mozarts and call me in the morning sort of thing.

It's really about the music that has meaning to you.

[00:31:59] Matt: But,

but wait a second, typically on perhaps a given day, it's like, if I really wanted to structure, if I wanted to optimize my day, I would probably want to start with very uplifting music. To like, get me, get the blood pumping and get my creative juices flowing and, you know, correcting any mood I might have because music is very central to how I feel and my mood.

So I typically listen to a lot of uplifting music in the course of my entire day, but then when it's time to sit down and do the serious work, then I want something that, it's gonna have a beat that keeps me going, but isn't going to take too much of my attention away, ironically, mm-hmm um, so I can just, I can work to a rhythm and the rhythm generally, I want to be faster and faster, faster.

And then when it's time to wind down, maybe I wanna listen to something slower, more drawn out. You know, I, if I was to truly optimize my day now I listen to whatever the heck I want all day, every day, but if I wanted to optimize, so. Are there certain genres that are best to like for that initial, like zing get you up and going, and then certain genres that are good, kind of in the middle to like, you know, keep the beat and keep it strong and then good kind of music to wind down to.

[00:33:15] Gray: I think, uh, most genres have like that variability within them. Some like, you know, speed metal doesn't have the same sort of depth or slowness that other genres might, but, and there you go. They do have, yeah, they do have variability within them and again, it's really based on the person and what works best for them.

Like my internship director a long time ago told me when she was teaching me about this stuff. She was like, yeah, I went in to see this one person who had a lung disorder and was in the hospital and was very, like very, very anxious and hadn't slept for two days and was sitting at Boatright in her bed and like hanging onto the rails on the side of the bed and just couldn't relax and enough to like take a deep breath even.

This was in Pennsylvania. And so she asked, you know, what kind of music do you like? And then the woman was like, I really love polka. And my internship director was like, Polka?!, I thought that's that's anything but relaxing in her mind. And she's like, well, they say to play the music that people really like.

And so she did, she, brought in a record player and this is how long ago it was. And, put on the Pennsylvania polka. And like the woman, like, like within three minutes had relaxed and stopped grabbing the at bed and then actually fell asleep to like, Music, you know, Polka music you know, which doesn't seem like sleeping music, but you know, it really depends upon the person and what they like and it affects each of us differently, which is endlessly fascinating.

You know, I went into this thinking that it would be more prescriptive and, and I've learned just throughout my career, that it's really about the person and it's really about connecting to the person and finding what's important to them and what music resonates with them.

And then using that music to help them to continue on their wellness journey

[00:35:04] Fawn: is how do you find that gray? How do you know what questions to ask, to figure out what sound, what vibration would suit them? What if a person can't give you a song? Someone like me who loves music, but if you ask me what would make you feel better?

I, you know, I'm on the spot. I can't think of anything. And if I'm going through the thick of things, I'm in the thick of things. I can't think of mm-hmm, what would make me feel better. So how do you work with someone like that? That's in such trauma that you just don't know? What's the process like?

[00:35:43] Gray: , I believe as in this, like the person-centered humanist part of me or, well, all of me, but, that I believe that all humans tend towards finding what makes us. Tend towards wellness and tend towards, getting from a place of discomfort, to a place of comfort. Some things get in our way, like trauma and, you know, mental illness and physical illness and, you know, just, uh, they get in the way and it can be hard to find our way, but I think that we all naturally tend towards that.

When someone is really unaware of what music makes 'em feel better; the more I'm in this, the more and study the more I really, and look at my own study my own life too, like to like our society cuts us off, like at the neck, you know, and forces us and wants us to live in our heads.

And we have a disconnection to our bodies. And I certainly did. I lived very much in the land of ideas and thinking, and didn't pay attention to my body. And what happens to some of us is that then our bodies have some sort of issue. And then we have, we're forced to focus on our bodies and that's not a great thing and it's better if we can be in touch with our bodies sooner than that.

So many people I work with, they just like things have happened and trauma does that to us too. It cuts us off from our bodies because we're trying to avoid those memories or those experiences. The more we can get embodied into our bodies, the more we can figure out, like what music helps us to feel better.

I suggest to people to write down, like, you know, every day, listen to a couple of songs and write down how you, you know, think about how it makes you feel and what emotions you have and what bodily sensations you have. And then that will help to direct you to be like, oh, this one makes me feel happy.

Or this one opens up sadness in me or this one helps me to feel more relaxed. And then you can start creating playlists that focus on it specifically. I work with teens and there's some teens are many teens are really keyed into this, even if they're not able to articulate it fully.

I have kids who have like 200 playlists and Spotify and they're like for all their different moods and different ideas that they have. And, and it's really, really, really cool how the kids haven't gotten that message, I guess, fully as adults have. And that they're really using music that way.

[00:38:07] Matt: Yeah. But hold on. Why would I want to create a sad playlist?

[00:38:13] Gray: Because all feelings are important, all feelings, there's no like good feeling and there's no bad feeling like they're just feelings and it's part of this human experience is to feel all the things.

If we try to cut off one emotion, we end up cutting off all emotions and that's really not helpful. That's really not helpful cuz then we can't feel anything. And even when we try to cut off emotions, they're still there, you know, and they're under the surface and eating at us and that's what can cause a lot of distress in people.

In our society, we also tend to take on identity based on the emotional state we're in not seeing emotions as transient things that come and go, which is what they are, that we take on like I'm depressed or I'm anxious or I am a mad person or whatever. Instead we need to think about "I'm feeling this way right now" and they're like waves, sometimes slow waves on the beach, but they come and they crash over us and then they do recede. Sometimes it feels like you're just tumbling in the emotion, you know, but that they will recede and to hold onto the fact that the emotions are temporary, they're part of this human and experience. And that any other experience that we have outside of the human body has the same sort of, I don't know we have emotions anywhere else, but part of what we do hear,

[00:39:36] Matt: I literally want to take what you just said and frame it and put it on the wall.

[00:39:42] Fawn: I agree. I agree. And it also, it made me think of, sometimes I'm afraid to voice out loud what I'm thinking. So when I hear someone else say it, it is such a pressure reliever. So maybe I don't wanna express how I'm feeling because I'm scared of the judgment or I'm scared because it's such a dark thought or, you know, it could even be the opposite.

Maybe I'm really happy, but for some reason I can't voice it out loud, but if I hear someone else who has the same experience, that, and it, that in of itself, is that how the term goes, that experience of hearing someone else who feels the way you do that right there, aside from the music is the healing for me that, oh, you feel this way too, you know, or going back to, I'm afraid to express something because I'm afraid.

For example, I was too scared to even explore the feeling of anger and feeling shut down. I was feeling when we were dating Matt, I was unemployed. Like I lost my job. I was fired and you introduced me to Halford and this one song "Breaking the Law", breaking the law, the way he sings that I would just put that on a loop mm-hmm and I felt such relief because yeah, I did wanna break the law because it didn't feel part of society.

I felt shut down in every way that I just wanted to break things and the way he sang it, I'm like, thank you, sir. thank you. Yeah.

[00:41:35] Gray: Yeah. That's the beauty is that's one of the most wonderful things about music and all the arts is that you can listen to a song or look at a painting or see a dance and there's something about it that touches something within us. We resonate with it. And we have an understanding that we're not alone in our experiences. And that's one thing that happens also within this, in, within our society, because we have these expectations, like the Facebook and Instagram, whatever Pinterest expectations that life is perfect.

You know, you never show a picture of like, you know, your house after you're a teenager, like, you know, does something and everything's everywhere and a dog poops on the floor and everything. You don't take a picture of that and post that, you know, , we only post like perfect pictures of our lives. And then we expect, then we see everybody else's perfect pictures of their lives and everybody on vacation, smiling and not crying or

getting stung by a jellyfish. Like none of that, we just see the perfect, happy pictures, and then we expect our lives to be perfect and happy and we don't feel that way. And then we think that nobody else can understand that. And trauma also does that to us. Like we go through a traumatic event and you feel very isolated because nobody around you, like your immediate circle may not have gone through that same thing. And so then nobody else could understand all the feelings you have because you know, everybody's smiling and happy on Instagram. Then we isolate ourselves more. But actually connecting to other people is a way to heal, is the way to start the healing from that. And so, yeah, when we listen to a song and we're like, oh my God, like

"Breaking the Law". I actually, I absolutely feel that too. and, um, you don't feel alone and that's, and that's the beginning of healing; is knowing that we're not alone in what we're experiencing. And

[00:43:27] Matt: I, I think that's kind of the, the belief behind, uh, support groups, like an alcoholic anonymous.

And I think we're actually starting to see that when you see a famous actress actor, you know, let me show you my morning face, or there's a, there's an app that actually makes you take a picture of what, whatever it is you see right now and post it. Mm-hmm mm-hmm and, you know, I think there's that quest for a genuineness and there's a quest for real meaningful connections in a virtual space, because that's the space where we seem to be spending an awful lot of time.

[00:44:04] Gray: Yeah. And I think we're seeing it also in artists, uh, musicians out there and, and artists have always been like, there's always been the people who are creating arts that are like dealing with the deep and awful things that are happening in society. But, um, recently with pop artists, we've been seeing young people like Billie Eilish and Lady Gaga and, um, CIA and, and other folks who are really, uh, and these are big pop stars that everybody's listening to.

Cause there's always been the people like, I mean like Tori Amos years ago, like has, she's always put it out there, how she's feeling, but the she's more of a, like a, you know, independent sub genre than the big pop stars. But we're seeing like the big pop stars talking about their struggles so much.

So especially female. Pop stars, which has not been something our society allowed. And it's something we've seen actually throughout time, cuz music helps us to express those very sorrowful terrible times. But you know, like pop music especially is all about like being glamorous and beautiful and dancing and exciting and happy feelings, you know, or sex.

It's a lot of sex too.

[00:45:22] Fawn: and paying attention to what gets stifled, what gets shut down, what gets muted. So I, I, I remember a few months ago we realized that there was some sort of a, a law or something, not a law law, but like they only, the radio stations would only play one female artist per few hours. And the girls and I were commenting on that a few months ago, or maybe it was last year.

I don't remember, but paying attention to whose voice whose sound gets cut off and helping one another to magnify each other's voices to magnify each other's music is really important, especially these days with the female voice that needs to be heard mm-hmm . And do you find Gray that there's a pushback and there are now more female singers now being played on the radio because that came to the attention of the listeners.

Like what, what do you mean you're only gonna play one female artist. They were all men, all men. They had a quota. It would be just one female was allowed on the radio waves.

[00:46:42] Gray: Yeah. I mean, yeah. Sexism and the patriarchy is everywhere and influences so many things and silences so many voices. And I like just thinking about music genres.

There's like, we have all these genres of Western European and in American music. And then we have world music we just like throw the rest of the world into one little and it's re it's very ethnocentric of us to do that. And that there's no, there's, there's so much, there's so many, there's so many genres and there's so, so much richness when we silence those voices too, which is sad, cuz there's so much, there's so much richness

[00:47:21] Fawn: in it.

There is so much richness actually Gray, you just made me think when our babies were born, we were looking at not the standard Caucasian music and you're right. Everything was lumped into world music. So remember Matt, we would listen to Putumayo those albums, right. Because they had music from around the world, but that's all we would buy.

And every time we saw Putumayo CD, we were like, thank God. And so we would get it immediately. Right. But yeah.

[00:47:55] Gray: Yep. Yep. We did too. I also bought the Rock-A-Bye-Baby CDs where we took, they took, um, like whatever rock band songs and turned it into lullabies. Right. Which was, which were fantastic. And so then you could like, in the middle of the night, you know, trying to get the kid back to sleep, you could listen to Radiohead, but it was like as a lullaby and it was

[00:48:17] Matt: Oh, dear.

[00:48:18] Gray: It was amazing. that's really fun. Wasn't cloying. It didn't make you wanna die.

[00:48:23] Matt: so something I've noticed in my genre. Yes. There are a lot more female artists now. And maybe it's because of my girls and they've kind of guided me towards listening to female songs, um, or female singers. But yeah, there's, there's a fair number of them.

And if somebody wants to know one or three bands that I'll listen to in my genre, you have the great grandmother Nightwish, which is just casts a shadow over the entire genre that I listen to. And then there's even, there's more recent bands like an Epica or a, Within Temptation,

[00:48:57] Fawn: but you know what, Matt, I wanna say that, um, giving, giving you kudos, you always migrated towards really supporting female artists before the girls were born.

Like, think about when Matt writes code and if he's listening to a specific music, I know never, ever to even go in the same room because he's doing some serious coding. What's her name?

[00:49:23] Matt: Cecilia Bartoli

Cecilia Bartoli She's a meso soprano opera singer. Very,

very famous.

[00:49:28] Fawn: And it wasn't just Cecilia you, it just felt like when you really needed help, you did always turn to a female voice.

Well there's and you would get so excited when there was a female metal singer.

[00:49:39] Matt: Yes, absolutely. Yeah, because for so many years there was Doro and Doro and Lita Ford, and that was it. And Lita Ford was very kind of sexy and almost, I don't wanna say sexist, but I'll say it and now we're seeing, or actually

[00:49:55] Gray: yes, you see that a lot with.

That women are in music industry, in the United States and other places that, that male sexuality is pushed onto women in that supposed to where exactly. And seeing certain things and act certain ways. And

[00:50:12] Matt: yeah, but in the metal world that got shreded in 1995 with, uh, band called The Gathering and Anneke van Giersbergen, who is just a phenomenal talent and just unbelievable acoustically or just in general, she's somebody that I would love to meet.

And it was, it was kind of go for it medal.

[00:50:31] Fawn: So I dare say music is a friend who can relate with us and move us in life. When sometimes there's no one else to turn to. There is always something or someone case in point, there is music.

So to, to reach out, if you need anything, make sure that you visit to reach Gray, to further the conversation, please reach out to Gray. Thank you so much. We're gonna leave it here for now. Thank you. The conversation is ever flowing, ever going. Please reach out to us. Please reach out to Gray.

Thank you so much for everyone for listening. We'll talk to you in just a few days. Thank you. Be well, bye.