Single Parenting and Music

Western societies are generally accepted to be more liberal than others and more accepting and tolerant of what other societies might consider to be taboo. One such arrangement is single parent families. In certain countries single parent families are increasingly commonplace, as breakdowns in relationships are often routinely referred to divorce courts. In some places, particularly with strong religious links, divorce is taboo, so single parent families are less common. We may accept that these will increasingly become routine as work and family pressures increase and adults increasingly find it difficult to keep the family together. But single parenting may only alleviate the burdens of family may muting the disagreements between couples, and replacing them with other pressures passed on to the children.

In Japan single parent families are frowned upon culturally, and one such parent was concerned about the impact the lack of a father figure was taking on her daughter. Her daughter was emotionally withdrawn, and in the company of her peers she did not fully participate, and was at times unknowingly or knowingly made fun of because there was no father at home. Her mother took the unusual step of hiring an actor to play the role of her father – the actor pretended to want to make an attempt at reconciliation and after gaining the trust of the daughter, continues to do so. But are there any other problems with doing this? Certainly so. The actor wondered if he was doing more harm by deceiving the girl, and wondered what her life would be like when she had children – would they call him, the actor, grandpa? Would they only be building a house of cards?

Single parents sometimes struggle to occupy their children – unlike dual parent households, there is only one parent to go around! But it would be worthwhile to engage children in activities that would benefit him, such as sport and music. In fact, learning to play an instrument like the piano develops patience, willingness to persist and try, teaches life skills such as scheduling and revision. Like the Piano Teacher N8 website suggests, it would be a good thing that children can teach themselves on their own to do; the piano is also quite instantly gratifying, unlike another instrument like the violin which can take years just to get a nice sound out of it. So if you are a single parent, it would be a good idea to involve your child in music – at least something to occupy them!

Isolation and Mental Health

Does spending too much time alone in isolation lead to mental health decline? Let’s consider the case of the Russian composer Scriabin.

´╗┐´╗┐Scriabin’s career has a certain level of resemblance to that of Rachmaninov. Both were skilled in the art of composing and were accomplished pianists. Like Rachmaninov, his mother had been a fine pianist, and he was brought up by other female relatives in the extended family after his mother died just over a year after his birth.

Scriabin’s piano teacher in Moscow was Nikolay Zverev, who also taught Rachmaninov. Both entered the Conservatory in 1888 and both won gold medals during their time there. It was in the Conservatory that Scriabin caught the attention of the Russian millionaire publisher and philanthropist Mitrofan Belyayev. The latter began publishing Scriabin’s works and also sent him on a tour in Europe to play his own music.

In his later works Scriabin became increasingly involved in mysticism, and dabbled in Nietzschean theories, occult teachings, and philosophical ideas. He also developed the theory of synaesthesia, according to which art that appealed to all the senses would trigger a cataclysmic effect. His final work, Mysterium, was written with all these in mind. According to Scriabin, the performance was planned to last seven days in the Indian foothills of the Himalayas, beginning with bells suspended from the clouds. The universe would be shattered and humans replaced by nobler beings. To others, he seemed positively batty.

You can read more about the link between mental health and isolation from the Piano Teachers N8 website, or look up pianoWorks for Piano Lessons N8.

But it is fair to assume that spending too much time in self analysis, in what must seem like really isolationist activities such as being at the piano does push one towards mental health decline – as seen in this case. The same goes for other activities such as playing computer games, spending too much time on social media and other similar activities. In other words, get out! You may find that even when you are troubled, getting out for a walk, or just talking to people provides a temporary diversion from troubles. Or if you need to, arrange a visit with a counsellor so you can speak about your problems in strict confidence.