The MSWA Community are benefiting from the sound healing properties of music.
Professional Musician Brett Johns, who has been living with Multiple Sclerosis (MS) for nearly two decades, believes music gives him the strength he needs while living with the condition to cope.
After being diagnosed at 43, Brett shut the door on music for 13 years. “Music has always had a positive effect on my life by calming my mind and giving me joy. After my diagnosis I lost interest in it and became a recluse. I stopped so I could come to terms with how my life was going to change,” said Brett.
Brett’s personal life was also struggling - dealing with a divorce, managing his own business and providing for his children.
“It was a stressful time in my life but once I was introduced to MSWA they helped me re-open the doors to music and let it heal my mind and spirit once again. Music has really helped me cope during a difficult time in my life that was filled with confusion, stress and doubt,” said Brett.
Brett now lives in Bunbury and attends the local MSWA Community and Health Services Centre to access services including occupational therapy, counselling, physiotherapy and weekly Outreach. He also receives domestic support at home which means he can live independently.
“I have trouble using one of my legs, so I struggled to get out of the house. MSWA organised a gopher which meant I could re-connect with the community. I enjoy attending the Outreach groups and Member camps where I get to socialise with other people living with neurological conditions. I’ll play my Ukulele which makes everyone smile. I love that music can bring enjoyment to other people,” said Brett.
MSWA CEO Marcus Stafford AM said it’s evident that music is medicine for the mind and can be especially enriching for those living with a neurological condition.
“Music can have powerful effects on motor and cognitive skills, helps to maintain focus and relieve stress,” said Mr Stafford.
“Our recent partnership with the largest performing arts organisation in the State, the West Australian Symphony Orchestra (WASO) recognises a shared commitment to enriching the lives of our community through music.”
These days Brett’s cognitive functioning is slowing down, and is visually impaired, but his passion for music has never been waivered. He appreciates that music brings people together and can help his own motor and cognitive skills, helps to maintain focus relieve stress and much more.