Book review

Connections Magazine Fall 2013

Lynn Miller has been an integral part of Music for People for many years. A graduate of the MLP, Lynn has been offering classes exploring all aspects of singing at the MfP’s summer AOI workshop. At the quarterly gatherings of Music for People, Lynn has been the head of the Musicianship Program, coaching participants and sharing her wisdom regarding the manifestation of personal musical goals. This role is a natural outgrowth from her work as a Music Therapist. What others may not know about Lynn is that she is both a conventional healer and an unconventional one. Lynn is a master of community ritual, and has had a major role in the annual Firebird Festivals in Phoenixville, PA where she lives. She is a large-scale mural artist and a drum maker, producing frame drums adorned with her original artwork. In all of this work there is one common theme: the desire to reach inside and bring spiritual expression through. Her techniques have included visual art, dance and music.
In her new book, SpiritArts: Transformation Through Creating Art, Music and Dance, Lynn shares her techniques for accessing the Source of creativity in a variety of expressive modalities. Lynn is comfortable accessing her own deep places, and she is adept at transporting others to their unconscious wellsprings. She can speak the language of the shaman, visiting the elemental aspects of inner nature to bring back gifts that fuel a creative life. Music for People readers will recognize the approach Lynn takes to improvisation as the key to personal expression. She encourages players to “come from nothingness,” and to incorporate their breath and body in their music making. The rhythm and tonal activities Lynn mentions are credited to David Darling, Return to Child. and Lynn’s colleagues at MfP. What will be new to MfP readers is Lynn’s emphasis on cultivating comfort with the unknown and unconscious sources of creativity. She provides texts for guided imagery and encouragement to move, paint, and sing in unexpected ways, welcoming the lines and sounds that result as doorways to precious territory.
Lynn advises her readers to open their hearts and allow all feelings from all sources. She suggests we surrender to what is greater than ourselves, and at the same time have fun, laugh and play. She finds it wise to remain focused on the present, with sufficient courage to tell the truth, and to release judgement with gratitude. It is also her guidance that we acknowledge the oneness of all things, and trust in a divine order. Her methods are diverse and disarming; her invitations are all the more easy to follow because she makes her own path transparently clear. Her book has numerous personal examples of how Lynn used creative expression to enhance her personal insight, process challenging emotional events, and identify patterns in her life. As she has been transformed, so would she like others to benefit.

James Oshinsky, Ph.D. is a psychologist and musician. He is the author of Music for People’s book on improvisation and facilitation, Return to Child. He teaches at Adelphi University in Garden City, NY.
Page 12 – Fall 2013 Connections