Up With Album Art

By Patrick McNerthney

Back in the good ol’ days we couldn’t listen to the music we liked whenever we wanted. At least when it came to broadcast media. That’s right—we were subject to whatever the radio station or MTV decided to play next. No choice.

Nowadays, in our instant everything world, this is no longer a problem. And that’s a bigger problem (in my archaic albeit humble opinion). 

It works like this: the beauty of having no choice when it comes to listening to music (or experiencing any kind of art) is that we don’t just hear a song we dislike once. Nay, it’s very likely we’re going to experience it again and again.

(No, please, no more Stairway to Heaven, I’m going insane!)

And that’s when something magical happens. The more we experience the song (or poem, or painting, or graffiti—you get the idea), the more likely we are to connect with it, discover what we’re missing, and actually grow to LIKE it, or at least some part of it. And since the relationship with the song took some time and effort to flourish, our connection is even stronger. Especially when compared to the songs we KNOW we like and can listen to on demand with a thumb swipe of our robot phones (and absolutely no cognition). 

Plus, think about the physical ALBUM of yore. I used to buy a record (or tape, or CD) because I liked two of the songs on it. But as it lived with me over the years, I inevitably found songs I liked even MORE, buried deep in the album around tracks 7-10. 

And don’t even get me started on album art. Remember when you’d unfold the paper within a record, CD, or cassette and find super cool artwork, maybe a poster, and sometimes even lyrics? We’re talking cool stuff you could hang up on your WALL. That’s right, physical albums might be old fashioned, but the thrill of that artwork and information is timeless. (I have goose bumps right now just remembering…)

(See? And that’s just the album COVERS. Take that, Spotify and Apple Music!)

Yep, those were the good ol’ days. Now the best I can do is look at a digital representation of an album cover on my phone as I listen to my “favorite” hits from Apple Music. 

Ah well.

Hey, what’s this have to do with your work as a caregiver of the elderly, children with challenges, or anyone needing assistance with life’s (seemingly) routine tasks? Quite a bit. I’m no art expert, but what I’ve outlined above is the power of art to impact how we feel…something Fine Art Miracles (FAM) knows well. 

The more your residents or loved ones experience the act of simply making art through FAM’s Art Therapy, Music Therapy, Drama Therapy, Dance & Movement Therapy, Art 2 Go packages (and so much more), the more likely they are to connect with feelings of mastery, confidence, self-worth, joy, and the belief that they, as powerful individuals, MATTER. Which just happens to be what they need to feel to overcome the anxiety and depression they experience as a part of social isolation. 

And since their relationship with their art form took some time and effort to flourish, the connection with their own superpowers is even STRONGER. 

As a special bonus, the longer your residents or loved ones SIT with what they’ve created, the more likely they’ll find something within it that they a) didn’t notice before and b) like even MORE—similar to the gold I used to find in my tracks “7-10”. In other words, their own creation keeps on giving, because the thrill of their work and the information it represents is timeless. 

So what are you waiting for? Reach out to FAM today to learn more and get started

Well, guess what I’m going to do today? Drive my kid to school listening to music on my phone (plugged into my car), where he and I will see teeny tiny album covers on my Subaru’s tiny display screen. Oh well – at least we’re listening to precisely the song we want at any given moment (sob). 

…Totally stopping by the record store on the way home.


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