Explore the connection between music and emotion at Tuesday classes


By Paul Roberts

Special to The PREVIEW

Join musician and music therapist Paul Roberts for a free hand-drumming class at the Pagosa Lakes Clubhouse on Tuesday, Oct. 2, at noon.

The class offers a welcoming environment that encourages fun, creativity, playfulness and connecting with others. Drums are provided for those who do not have one. Designed as an opportunity for people of all ages to unleash their creativity, the drumming class is a family-friendly activity open to all ages. No previous experience is necessary.

How music affects emotions in film is the subject of an article titled “Music and emotion — a composer’s perspective” published in Frontiers in Neuroscience.

“Vibration sense, sound sense, is ancient, visceral, and inextricably linked to old and deep emotional centers in the brain, a fact that allows composers to access and dialogue with their audience at a deep level,” writes film composer Joel Douek. “To me, music is an open place, a portal … a transportation system to and from our subconscious, our instincts and our shared culture. Music can transport us to a place or geography … It can transport us to a human emotion, on a journey from sadness to joy … it can transport us to somewhere beyond the human experience, beyond words, beyond thought, beyond our furthest imaginings — to transcendence.”

An easy way to explore the connection between music and emotion is to find something to pound on. You don’t have to look further than your own body, the most accessible percussion instrument. Clapping, thigh slapping, finger snapping, chest beating — body percussion is an age-old form of music making.

Percussion instruments were certainly among the first musical instruments invented. It has been documented that people in the early Stone Age played music on stones and gourds, notching them and then scraping them with sticks or bones. It would be interesting to hear what Stone Age music was like, but any audio recordings that may have been a smash hit back then would be long dissipated by now.

Stone Age instruments have not yet surfaced in the drumming class, but some participants have been transported to a place that may be akin to a primordial exhilaration, reconnecting to the ancient roots of music.

For more information about the Pagosa hand-drumming class, call 731-3117. The Pagosa Lakes Clubhouse is located at 230 Port Ave.