My rock star adventure – How music therapy gets me through middle-life crisis

During the pandemic lockdown this year, the ONE thing I have missed the most was rehearsing with the band and performing at live gigs. Over the past three months, I have written a few songs (a first for me!), I have created the London Mums choir thanks to the advice of the wonderful vocal coach to the stars Cece Sammy and I have performed my own song with musicians at the park. I even sung my own song Love is easy for BBC London

My rock star adventure started with ‘dream maker’ Richard Coulson from The Rock & Roll Recruits who put together the band Devil Soul so I could tick ’singing in a rock band’ off my bucket list of things to do before I die. Making music gives me great energy and bond time with friends, fans and fellow rockers. I am living the dream! Judging from the fun I have singing and playing with talented musicians, I should have been a rock star instead of a writer. (wink!)

I am loving every second of this musical adventure and I won’t stop! I enjoy hanging out in the dressing room at The Half Moon Putney – where we usually perform live – thinking of The Beatles, the Rolling Stones, Slade and David Bowie who were there before me! I never want the gigs to finish. When I am on stage, time flies. 

My three vocal coaches have helped me a lot through my journey. They are Cece SammyLuLu Hunt and Nini Matessi Schou.

I have also received lots of support from my friends who really believed in me and kept motivating me throughout even when I had self-doubts. My friend Vincenzo Albano has become my personal rock photographer who has professionally immortalised those precious moments. 

I am not a rock star, of course, but simply someone who really enjoys music and uses rock as therapy. Apparently being in a rock band has the same neurological effect to our brain of meditation. I just have a blast singing rock music with super gifted musicians in front of a friendly crowd. Every time I am on stage anywhere I cannot get enough of the adrenaline flowing through my body and always wish we had more songs to play to make it last longer.

I can say it has been the best experience in my life so far in terms of enrichment, excitement, fulfilment. I would recommend it to anybody who feels demotivated, depressed and lonely.

Honestly, I did not know I was going to be a natural until I was on that stage last July 2019. It’s been a discovery for me too.

Life’s too short to miss out on the good stuff. Making live music is certainly one of the most exciting things I have ever done in my entire life. I’ll keep going. It’s too nice to stop now. I’ll rock my way to my senior years to beat middle life crisis.

Check out these brilliant videos created by vocal coach Cece Sammy, who has helped me with my confidence through a video call and her brilliant book called If you can speak you can sing

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Having used music to overcome her personal adversity, CeCe Sammy (celebrity vocal coach seen of The X Factor and The Voice) has partnered with psychologist Kairen Cullen to create tips on how families can use music to tackle the stress that can come with isolation. She has created free workshops for anyone to follow online to help de-stress families across the country. Her videos are available to watch here.

CeCe has long advocated the use of musical therapy techniques to help people overcome adversity, stemming from her personal recovery from a brain aneurysm, which left her unable to speak or breathe independently. She believes music played a vital role in her recovery, as whilst recuperating in the hospital, she saw a direct correlation between music and an increase in her mental and physical stimulation.

CeCe carries out a school and charity programme where she uses music to improve wellbeing and confidence in teachers, children and young adults. She now wants to share this with the nation via workshops that will cover a range of topics, expertly crafted to improve your mood. This will include:

  • The power of breath exercises – rehabilitation through breathing
  • Song and stretch – stick on your favourite song and get moving by stretching and singing along
  • Music as inspiration

London Mums followed Cece’s tips and went on to sing Imagine by John Lennon on a virtual collaboration  choir which was recently covered by BBC London. Check this out! 

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