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Guided Imagery and Music (GIM) Therapy w/ Joyu Lee + Mindfulness for Musicians.

On Today’s Episode…

Therapist, pianist and cellist Joyu Lee shares her expertise in Guided Imagery and Music (GIM) therapy, plus mindfulness and how it can benefit musicians. You can follow her work on Instagram at @musicandyourmind. Learn more at https://www.musicandyourmind.com/.

Our discussion includes...

[Chris- please add content here givinga  little back story- why are you so excited to interview John?  How did you meet and/or what’s the thing that stands out to you most about him and/or this interview]

  • Understanding your own psychology
  • How mindfulness can be applied and to slow down the pace of your life and to “catch your breath”
  • Christian and Joyu’s Mindfulness excercises
  • How mindfulness could help you to be a more proactive musician
  • The vulnerability of coaches and teachers, and the importance of giving them mindfulness tools
  • How certain stories and events become highlighted in our memories and dominate over others
  • Using Guided Imagery and Music Therapy (GIM) to heal your own internal narrative


Listen on Google Play Music

[00:00:00] Introducing Joyu and her career thus far

Chris: Joyu Lee welcome. I’d just like to tell people briefly that Joyu is a cellist and a board-certified therapist with 20-plus years of experience in creative, expressive arts therapy, cello performance, music education, and arts administration, which is also a fellow of the association for music and imagery and a music breathing practitioner.
She’s a senior therapist at the University of North Carolina health in chapel hill and primarily works with teens and young adults with eating disorders, anxiety, depression, and crisis intervention. She’s also a music therapist at an outpatient treatment center where she provides reeducated insight, building music psychotherapy sessions for groups and individuals daily.

[00:00:49] Learn more about Joyu’s work and services here:

Chris: And you can learn more about her at musicandyourmind.com. The same handle applies to Instagram. I want to talk about a lot of stuff with you. I mean, that’s a mouthful. So many different types. Therapy that you do. It’s amazing. I’m so excited about getting to meet you recently at the born-off workshop in Kansas City, where you were teaching teachers, you were teaching string teachers about mindfulness and probably other stuff.
And first of all, I wanna thank you for everything you do. And then, I want to go in the direction of helping our listeners with our musicians and teachers to benefit from, how they can address their psychology. You know, whatever the psychological things that might be holding them back from teaching, from doing their careers, from growing their musical practice, and also to learn about possible ways they could work in the healing space.
So, starting with that… what do you think are the ways that musicians can benefit from a greater understanding of their psychology to like to improve their musical practice, careers, and or teaching? What are some top things that come to mind for you?

[00:02:05] In what can musicians benefit and improve their performance by understanding their psychology?

Joyu: Absolutely. First of all, Chris, Delighted to be here and so glad that we got to, work together briefly during the born-off training and, come into this podcast to talk about mindfulness, talk about music, and all of the connections from one human to the next.
That’s something that I’m incredibly passionate about. And so coming back to your question about for mu musicians and teachers, not just string teachers, but of course, I’m a string player. That’s important to me and my own experiences and stories of how coming from performance art, being a full-time musician and trying to integrate into therapeutic spaces and allow trial and error and twists and turns.
And what I have learned from all this time, I would say that for musicians, even just talking about mindfulness, because mindfulness, nowadays. Such is almost like this hot topic, this like catchphrase, if you like Google it, there’s overwhelming, like articles and workshops and people can get like loss and all of this information out there.
I oftentimes explain mindfulness as it’s like driving lessons for your mind or your brain. And as a musician, whether you’re doing a full-time performance or you’re doing some teaching combined with a lot of different things, paying attention to the here and now and paying attention and having more awareness of yourself truly can open up so many different, I think perspectives, or if metaphorically speaking, it’s like opening up doors and pathways and giving yours.
And allowing yourself to create more space for you to explore, to be curious, and to do things that matter to you. So truly, I would say that mindfulness is such a keyword in this. Yes, Chris.

[00:04:08] The importance and benefit of doing activities or projects that you truly enjoy.

Chris: I feel like that one of the things you said to do the things that are important to you is one of the things that I’ve been thinking about recently, it’s like the reason that I think of mindfulness is to take actions where you’re blocked.
So, let’s say, for example, people that procrastinate around practice yes. Or people that are afraid to charge more or people that are afraid to perform. And, these could be actions that we want to take, but we’re blocked from doing it. And so I wonder if you could take us through a mindfulness exercise, like even possibly with that or something related to that as like the goal outcome, and sorry if that’s if I’m not a psychologist, but like, I don’t know if I should be like a patient for you or, you just riff, you do your thing.
And just to help anybody that’s listening. I want them to be able to experience you guiding them through mindfulness. Would you be willing to do that?

Joyu: Absolutely. So how about this?

[00:05:07] Explaining a scenario and how mindfulness can be applied as well as how the pacing of life can be slowed down to “catch your breath”

Joyu: Because in the purpose of supporting your listeners, I would say the majority of your listeners are teachers and string players or string performers, or any artists.
Let’s just take artists in this big category. A lot of people will come to me, whether they’re clients, whether they’re patients, or just people. I have like daily conversations about it like Joyu. I have a super busy schedule. I feel like I’m just following this, like this checklist of things or responsibilities, like one thing after the next, and I don’t have time.
For mindfulness. I don’t know if I can like truly just sit down and tune in my breath. And it’s, it seems like when people want to add mindfulness into their routine, it can be a little bit daunting in the beginning, or just the sense of if I bring it back into music elements. Okay. So we’re just talking about temple and volume and let’s say instrumentation quality sound.
So let’s say that your current life routine is like a hundred miles an hour, and it’s pretty chaotic because maybe you have three kids and you work a full-time job and there are responsibilities and you have to take care of your parents and neighbors and all those things. So there is, if you think about instrumentation, there’s like patches of random things that you have to like navigate through that. And also constantly there’s a lot of chatter and maybe your headspace is filled with these loud sounds or loud noises or demands. So coming it from like just zooming into our headspace, it’s high speed.
It’s fast-paced and it’s, pretty noisy, and pretty random. So you’re always hypervigilant about, okay, the next thing. So to expect us going from a hundred miles an hour, going to okay, 35, there has to be some sort of transition. So it doesn’t happen all at once.
So let’s say that you are a teacher and you have five classes back to back and you have meetings and students are coming to you. And, your principal is demanding some things like you are, you don’t have any space to catch a breath. A way to support yourself and add some mindfulness or self-care into these routines.

[00:07:25] How people “catch their breath”


Joyu: A lot of times I encourage people to just assess where can you find a minute? Where can you find like even just 30 seconds to start with for yourself, you could use music well, without music in this, but oftentimes because music, might be something that we are so familiar with that, we’re using it for work that actually, we don’t encourage ourselves to use that as a resource for us as let’s say, string educators or for performers.
So if we say just taking that 30 seconds, what I would encourage people to do is this 30 seconds. Even if you’re just going to the bathroom, what you’re going to do is invite yourself. Even if you feel like this is ridiculous, it’s just okay, we are gonna check-in. Let’s come back to our breath first because it’s not okay, I must do slow breathing.
It’s taking the musts and the shoulds out of the way. It’s assessing where you are and just notice, okay, I’m breathing in now. How fast, how slow my breath is. Am I holding my breath? Am I just releasing it quickly? So you’re just assessing like that sense of, okay. That temp also noticed, wow, is my shoulder tense?
Is my head just spinning? Am I like thinking about 20 things while I’m trying to take a breath? So when you are using these 30 seconds to check in with yourself, you’re preparing yourself for the next thing, but not thinking about the next thing you’re trying to focus on in the present moment, just using your breath.
And sometimes, these are some things I do with clients a lot if you. Songs music that you just know that you listen to can like immediately help you focus, you don’t need to listen to the whole song. You don’t need to listen to a three-minute piece or a five-minute piece. If you have time, I encourage you to take that time.
But even if you just have one minute put on your headphones, even if it’s in the bathroom, and let yourself just take that time, non-negotiable, it’s almost okay, we are doing a check-in right now in, in the middle of all this, you have to give yourself, there’s it. It’s almost like carving out that intention.
So even if you don’t feel the benefits immediately, it’s about truly slowing down the busyness because we are busy people in our society who loves to promote productivity about being efficient, about being working really and working a lot of hours and all those things. But it’s about really intentionally making sure that you can round and slow things down just a little bit, and then go to your next thing.
So this is, I think this is like a starting point that you can find just 30 seconds or a minute, and truly it’s about quieting and sewing down and starting where you are. It’s not immediately okay. I’m like rushing around and then I have to like immediately stand still. It could be truly that transition. Let’s say you’re a runner and you’re running super fast, you’re like gradually slowing yourself down a little bit. So that you can kind of transition into that, that next thing that you are brushing towards.

Chris: Love that. So I, it prompted an idea for me, which is that I’ve got my violin here, actually, this quite like this, it’s a chin. This is a chin cello. Cool. And so it’s an Octa lower than a violin.

Joyu: Nice.

[00:11:11] How Chris has guided people through mindfulness exercises in his classes.

Chris: And, so I wanna see, I want to ask you if I’m doing it right because what I’ve been doing in a lot of my group classes is guiding people through mindfulness exercises as they practice. So I’m going to demonstrate it briefly with me being my own Guinea pig teacher.
And then I’m going to try to do it for the listeners and then have you correct what I did wrong? so while, the way I would do it is like, okay, I’m gonna start playing my instrument. And instead of starting with a scale book, I’m just gonna pick a note and I’m gonna start, I’m gonna set an intention.
My intention for my practice is that I am going to be balanced or calm or focused or something like this. So I’m gonna say balanced and calm. That’s my intention to be balanced and calm. So I’m going to then pick a note, which is open G and I’m just gonna play the note. And then I’m gonna notice, first of all, my breath, which is what I heard you say, yes.
I’m just noticing my breath breathing and then I’m going to change to, okay. Now notice my body. So notice my face, notice my shoulders, and then notice other parts of my body. And then I’m gonna turn my attention to notice, like my sound. What does my sound like? Okay. And now I’m noticing the change from up to down low, just noticing it.
And then I’ll go on to continue to bring my attention to other things to notice, which could include either again the breath, the body, but then the sound, and then different facets of the sound. And as I do that in my classes, I’ll coach people to go through it. I’m gonna try it with everybody here and then you can do it wrong or if I did it right. So, if anybody here wants to take it, is that fair? Is that okay?

Joyu: Absolutely. Chris, what I would recommend is mindfulness, I encourage people to move away from the right and the wrong, even though, as teachers, of course, there is a great boho. Like the things we say, don’t do that kind of thing.
But if we are coming from mindfulness for today’s purpose, I would encourage people to think about adjustments about fine-tuning, about what is helpful, what is, what feels maybe, a little tenser, a little less tense on what is helpful, and what is unhelpful in this. So, we’re gonna stop correcting ourselves, but invite ourselves to pay more attention because it’s about calm and balance.
Awesome. Okay. So I’m gonna try it. Okay.

Chris: And it’s not gonna be right or wrong, but then we’re gonna see what comments you have. So for anybody that’s listening right now, I’m gonna take you through. This is me trying to teach mindfulness and getting a coach from an actual professional mindfulness, teacher. And so I’m gonna take you through a mindfulness exercise and you have the option as a listener. You can take your instrument and you can put it in your hand and you can play. While I give you this exercise, because this is also something I do to help people improvise, or you can just do it without your instrument. So, it’s your choice.

[00:14:31] Be guided along a mindfulness exercise along with Chris with or without an instrument starting at this point.

Chris: And, if you’re doing it with your instrument or without your instrument, then just start by relaxing and maybe close your eyes if you want and send an intention. And that intention could include completing this sentence. I am, which is something I’ve learned from my yoga teachers.
Okay, so you’ve got your intention. Now, if you have an instrument, you can start to play a note. You can pick any note and you can play that note. And as you, and if you don’t have an instrument, then you’re just sitting there. And as you’re playing that note or sitting there, I want you to just bring your attention to your breath. That’s it just notice and if something happens, then it happens. Now I want you to move your attention to your body. So that could include like your shoulders, your neck, wherever there’s tension. And if you’re playing, then just keep playing that note. And if you want to change a note, you can change the note.
Now continue to bring your attention to other places in your body. Maybe you’ll notice there’s tension in certain places. Maybe you let that tension go and gradually bring your attention to your sound. Or if you’re not playing, bring your attention to something else about your surroundings. Maybe the sound that you’re hearing around you, this smells of sights.
And at any point, if you’re playing your instrument, you can move the bow and you can move it to another note. You can play another note. And if you want to bring your attention to the articulation of your sound, the volume of your sound, the velocity of yours. You can bring your attention to that.
And then if you’re playing, you can continue to change a note, think about a note that you’ll change too, and then just change to it when you’re ready. Now you’re improvising. Now you can play as fast as you want, and it can be any note there are no right or wrong notes. Whenever you want. You can check in with how are you feeling and notice thoughts that you’re having, thoughts that you’re having.
Are you having judgemental thoughts? Are you having peaceful thoughts reset to your in. continue this, as long as, you can hit pause and do this and see wherever it takes you. Okay. So that’s my attempt. You’re the professional. So I would love to, know is that, did I just teach people mindfulness.
Because my whole idea is like, when I go to yoga class, I feel so inspired. And literally, it’s incredible. Like, when they take me through this kind of sequence of some of these things, while I’m doing yoga, but I think that people could be doing this while they’re practicing and while they’re improvising.
Yes. So I’m curious about all those things. I’ll just, I’ll stop talking and I’ll listen to you now.

Joyu: Chris, first of all, I like the invitation, because we’re preparing ourselves for improvising, preparing ourselves to, be creative, right? Would recommend adding another step of preparation even before you pick up the instrument, because let’s say that.
Okay. Ideally, I just remember, when I was a full-time performer playing 10, 12 hours a day, you have those set practice times. It’s almost like you have those schedules for yourself. So let’s say, I’m gonna start practicing at nine in the morning and I have my coffee, I have my things. And then I go into the practice room.
So maybe before practicing, even if you have a set time, you have a schedule for yourself, or maybe it’s just, oh, I have an hour here. Let me just pick up my instrument. Even before you pick up your instrument. It’s once you go into that space, even if I’m just moving from the living room to just like three steps away to, to the next room, Start scanning yourself, start noticing that.
Okay. That setting the atten intention. Doesn’t just start when we pick up the instrument, you might already be like, what’s going on with me now? And it could truly like, if we truly give ourselves that moment to check in, some people might feel like, Ugh, I’m just practicing. I don’t wanna check-in I just wanna play that’s okay, too, because that’s where you are.
Some people might say that. I don’t know. I’m just gonna practice. It’s okay. I don’t know where you’re starting, but if you already give yourself a chance to do an assessment, and this is like you, it could be playful. It’s almost like what’s the story of your practice today.
And it could be a very short story, saying that, wow, I don’t wanna practice, but I have to, or I am so looking forward to spending some time, because this is like my time of them wherever you are starting, that’s where we’re gonna like really build that intention from. So I am gonna try if that’s okay, I’m gonna guide you and guide our listeners to do a short, truly like this, like mindfulness.
And I honestly feel like everybody can benefit from mindfulness in some ways. It’s when you go to yoga classes when you work with a therapist, and when you go to like workshops it’s to get inspiration. Right? But then you also have to like, take those things. What makes sense to you? What works for me right here right now?
And you take those pieces and almost build this like a new tapestry. So if we start and I’m just gonna give everybody a framework before I go into this like guidance. You do a quick check-in brief check-in and be as honest with yourself. That makes sense because we’re not gonna, sometimes you might feel super emotional and a lot is going on.
Maybe even just asking yourself that question could open up, like the floodgate for emotions to pass through. And maybe you just wanna stay connected with your instrument. That’s also just like recognizing and acknowledging yourself that this is my time to practice. And today, what would like, what would I like to invite?
I am feeling frazzled right now, but I am gonna try to be calmer. So even adding, like sometimes people will ask me about affirmations. It’s like, well, I’m not there yet. This feels a little fake or this feels like I’m like, I’m an imposter. It’s like, yeah. But that’s where you would like to move towards the right where your story is gonna be developed or going towards that direction.
So where is your story starting right now? And then you create a little bit of that distance. Like I feel da, da. And so when you are setting that intention, or even when you’re taking your instrument out of your, your case, and we’re so on autopilot. So like everything that you’re doing, it could just be like setting up your space, making your practice space comfortable is one thing too.
It’s just okay, truly, even adjusting. If you’re sitting down, you’re adjusting your chair and I encourage people to start paying attention to their feet. Truly starting, even just like you, you feel like really like that FRA start paying attention to your feet. Even just tapping almost like this.
I am here and notice the bottom of your feet. When you like tap the floor when you are standing here and you can even play around and change your balance, from one side to another. But anything that you’re doing, if you just pay attention to it a little bit more, that is being more intentional.
We’re not just going through emotions. Right? And so let’s say that you bring up your instrument and you like, okay, do a quick check just okay. Wow. My shoulders feel pretty tense now, but let’s just start with a cheese string. Let’s just start with an open string wherever you would like.
And as I tell us, let’s say, I always start with the CSR because lower tones help me feel like that sense, like roundness with the floor ride. So maybe even just, if you’re starting with open strain, where would you like to start today? How does that kind of fit your story today? Maybe today, I feel like I really wanna spend more time with the lower strengths, but there could be days that’s just, I really wanna just open up my arms in this angle and I wanna start there.
You don’t have to justify it. You just need to choose something that makes sense to you right now. Okay. So we’re gonna go onto this guidance.

[00:22:54] Be guided along a mindfulness exercise along with Joyu starting at this point

Joyu: So right now, as you’re preparing to start your practice, I am inviting you to just notice your feet. You could tap your feet on, on the floor.
You could look over your toes, maybe you’re standing, but wherever you are, invite yourself to have that kinda groundedness feet on the floor. Just check in with your breath. You’re noticing we’re not changing anything. So you’re just noticing. How is my breathing right now?
And invite yourself to take a breath, just breathe in and notice how your breath is moving in that sense of direction, how the breath you’re just letting yourself breathe now. And as you are breathing out, imagine your breath is just moving toward the direction of the floor. That sense of releasing easily.
Does it? And at your own pace, you could take a breath or two, just noticing that sense of direction, your breath moving in. You are the person that’s breathing now. And as you breathe. Letting the breath move a little slower, lower, and releasing into the floor.
Noticing what is something that speaks to you now, setting that intention. I am bringing, I am uninviting a sense of calm into my playing today. You are the person that’s inviting this calmness to be part of this experience. And so, as you are taking your instrument out of the case, every emotion, just let yourself move a little bit slower, knowing that maybe you are moving fast.
Just take a moment to slow down just a little bit as you’re rosining your bow, maybe tuning, just give yourself that sense of calm as you are settling. Know that even if you don’t feel calm now, that’s okay. We’re inviting that sense of connection with the calm and as you place your bow on that first open stream, check in with your feet.
Just let yourself notice your feet on the ground. Even if your hand may feel a little shaky, maybe if something feels out of balance, this is where we are starting. Now.
As you play that first open string, I’m gonna invite you to tune in with your breath tune in. That down bow, maybe breathing in and just seeing how far your bow was moving. What is the speed?
And then when you are playing your elbow, calming back, let yourself breathe out and maybe notice that your bow may be moving a little faster than your breath or vice versa. And so, the next open string that you’re gonna play just like yourself match or breathe a little bit and be curious, know that invitation of the calm is in the space right here with this open string, with the sound, and do this at your own pace. See if you wanna switch to another. Maybe play another note. And if you feel like this is a little bit too slow for your current state of being, it’s not calming that’s okay. This is the time that maybe play some busy sounds, some loud noises, really let yourself use your instrument and match your current state of being and open up that curiosity.
Notice if there are patches of busy sounds if you don’t know where to start, even just start with a skill or just do some little exercise here and there that you don’t have to think that hard, but you’re just matching kind of your, your current energy and invite yourself. I bring more. And to do it in a way that makes more sense to me, really notice the quality of your sound, notice how you are using your bow and checking in.
How does that feel, especially with your shoulders, your wrists, maybe even noticing your feet? Do you feel like you’re moving quite a bit, or do you feel like you are more grounded and rooted here?
And if busy thoughts or intrusive thoughts are coming into your headspace, acknowledge calm back to your instrument. Come back to what you are playing acknowledge and let those thoughts come and go. You’re inviting yourself to come back to your practice again and again.
Thank you.

[00:29:21] Learn about the sponsors of today’s episode

Chris: Love it. Love it. Thank you. And I want to take a second to thank our sponsors. First of all, electric violin shops are the resource for all things. Electric strings, not too far from you. I think, Durham, chapel hill, North Carolina. I get confused about the geography, but it’s electricviolinshop.com.
If you go there, if you have any questions about anything, related to electric violin playing, or electric cello playing, they have a phone number on their website and you can call and speak to a human during business hours. And that’s the best thing about them. They’ll answer your question. So go to the website, electricviolinshop.com. Call them at their phone number. Get help. Also our sponsor, Yamaha. Yamaha supports creative string players and all sorts of string players. You can check out the add educator suite if you’re an educator. to add an educator suite, you can also join the add educators Facebook group on Facebook. They have a lot of great free resources. And if you do speak to the folks at the electric violin shop, make sure that you, and you’re looking for an electric instrument. I recommend they’re violin or cello. Um, so that’s for our sponsor’s question about the mindfulness thing. When, right now, we were just exploring mindfulness as a means to practice.
Right? And, as I was saying before like I’m curious about mindfulness as a way to take actions that we’re blocked from taking, I think some people, when they. they’re blocked around practicing or they don’t, they don’t make progress or like a lot of my students they’re self-conscious to improvise. Yeah. There, it’s like scary to like choose a new note.

[00:31:04] How people struggle with taking action can use mindfulness to start being more proactive.

Chris: So, so to me, I’m interested in mindfulness as a solution for people to take action. Absolutely. And right now we’re talking about it in the context of practicing but, why do you teach teachers about mindfulness? Like succinctly? Like why did Debbie, uh, Lyle at born off want you to teach? Is it just because they get stressed out or just to help them get less stressed out? Or is it for them to get more done? Is it so they don’t yell at their students as much, why?.

Joyu: I would say that when I started talking to Debbie about mindfulness, and any other content of not just teaching mindfulness to clients, but providing in-service for clinicians or other therapists and constantly having, um, these conversations about what is mindfulness and what is it for. If I bring it back into self-care, but not in a glamorous self-care way because a lot of people are like, what do you mean by self-care?
It’s like, I take my vacations, I try to, you know, schedule these like things. Um, those are like the big projects that people can do. Right. I always talk to people about the, um, not so glam or self-care that you do for yourself. That is about really coming back to that sense of wellness and holistically speaking, if we are just talking about string teachers, There, I think here in the U.S. Right now, not just string teachers, just teachers, in general, are doing so much for our students. Are oftentimes, maybe underappreciated and they don’t have a lot of resources and support. So my different levels of COVID have made everything a hundred times worse, but I, as a mental health practitioner, I always talk about, COVID made things like where zooming in on all of these mental health concerns that are already existing and continuously developing.
And I think COVID made people have to pay attention to these things more. They’re uncomfortable and traumatic on so many different levels. So when it comes to teachers, I would say that, um, just about like the workshop per se, a lot of teachers of course, are looking for resources of what they can bring back to their classrooms.
But what I am more interested in is when teachers feel like they are more supportive, feel more grounded, and then co I keep coming back to the word grounded because this is such an important skill. That is part of mindfulness as part of somatic, um, therapeutic experiences. But just as a person, as a human being, when we are not feeling centered and grounded, a lot of things can happen that are not very helpful to us because then we would make.
A lot of, um, maybe more impossible impulsive decisions or we would react more than responding. And a lot of times it’s not even that we can’t think clearly. So even just bringing into like the neuroscience, um, and please know that this is like very watered down neuroscience, um, to make it user friendly and help people.
I kind of understand their own, um, mind and body connection. And so if we’re just talking about our brain again, water down, like in three layers of like the lizard brain, the dinosaur brain, the middle part, um, the mammal brain, and like the higher thinking cognitive brain, which we call the monkey brain.
And so how, when you are. More grounded and you are more mindful. First of all, it helps. And this is like lots of wonderful research to back this up art Amidala, which is like where, um, a lot of like the fear is, is, um, like the fear center actually is less reactive and it also really helps the lizard brain to not, um, overreact and helps our emotional and physical safety.
And so I could go on and on and on about the neuroscience part, but surely the most important thing is that when teachers have more tools for being more mindful about self-care, it’s less reactive to fear. It’s less reactive to all the uncomfortable emotions and it’s coming back to, okay. I feel more grounded.
I can, uh, feel more like myself. And interact with other people, interact with yourself more authentically. And, um, that allows people to, to truly be kinder. And also not so much like the explosive drama, but more neutral. So when things are a little bit more neutral, there are more possibilities, and more space, for things to truly happen.

[00:36:07] The vulnerability of coaches and teachers, and other authority figures, and the importance of giving them mindfulness tools to be able to lean on.

Chris: It’s that just brings to mind that, um, that teachers are going through a lot of stress and like, you know, that probably a lot of times people expect a teacher in the same way that they might expect someone like yourself, a therapist, you know, or like a, a doctor. They like, like just expect them to just have it together, be able to take whatever we throw at them.
It’s like, you know, so, so the kids and parents and like school boards and like administrations and like, you know, just like yelling that the teacher’s like, it’s your job to make everything better. And then like, we just expect, it’s just their job to be, to be perfect. Mm-hmm but the fact is they’re human. And so they’re probably feeling stressed out and overwhelmed and yeah, that’s, that feels big. It’s like you like giving them the tools to feel okay, is what I’m here.

Joyu: Absolutely. Absolutely. And another part is it’s like, it’s like practice when you are learning these self-care skills in the middle of everything, it’s gonna feel really weird and awkward and you’re gonna have resistance or a lot of people I don’t wanna over-generalize, but it may feel like who has time for this?
Or what is this about? Like, I don’t even have time to finish my work. Why do I need to like, like a lot of teachers and both my parents are teachers? So I grew up in, in the household of seeing my mom being super dedicated to, um, she’s a high school, private teacher, um, making sure that all of her students and all her parents are, are clear with communication.
And so you’re burning the candles from both ends. Teachers tend to put themselves. If they have more time, they’re gonna give and support other people. And it becomes such this pattern of, I can’t take care of myself. I have so many other people who need me, but my whole focus is if you don’t and this is gonna sound super cliche, but you, you have to fill your cup, but it’s not just like everybody is filling in the same way.
You have to do those things as we’re charging your batteries. And this is, um, I saw this on a meme the other day, so I can’t take credit for it. Like, we are not gonna let our phones go into like 5%, not charges. So why do we think that is okay? Just like, yeah. Who needs to recharge? Like, let’s just keep going. And it’s almost like this competition of how much tolerance you can have for this busyness. And it, and we wear like, like this, this badge of honors, like, you know, I am the most hardworking person where I can hold down to the most stress. Like, and yeah.

Chris: And charge the least and charge the least to do it, which is a big one with a lot of, um, cuz I work with a lot of teachers and musicians on, you know, running their businesses, the people that work for themselves.
And uh, and that’s a big one. People feel pressure to like, they’re like, I should give it away for free. Somebody can’t afford this. Or, and then, but it’s like, well, but you have to be able to step boundaries and you have to be able to take care of yourself. Of course, I resonate with the, we want to help people.
We want to give away things for free. This is free, you know, but, but you also have to take care of yourself. So, um, this is great. I love this. Um, I wanna remind people that if you want to reach out to Joyu Lee, you can do so at musicandyourmind.com, you can also find her on Instagram at Music and Your Mind.
And I’ve, I enjoy some of the posts I’ve seen there on Instagram. You share a lot of really cool stuff there. I’d like to transition into talking about narratives. Is that okay?

Joyu: Yes, of course.

Chris: So you’re a narrative therapist, I’m interested in the idea of narratives from this standpoint of like rewriting my story, and or for other clients of mine, friends of mine, people in my family, the idea that we have limiting beliefs, about what we’re capable of and that those limiting beliefs. And these ideas about who we are, um, that, they’re shaped by stories that we unconsciously tell that we’ve told maybe because something happened in life or something happened to me when I was 15. And so then there was a story about I’m this. You know, I’m this, or I’m that. And I think everybody has these stories.
And so this idea of like now I turned 50 recently and I’m like, I’m really, I won’t rewrite my story. I want to not tell negative things about myself. Yeah. You know, I wanna tell positive things about myself and I want to be able to go into those stories and live through those stories. Not in like an empty, uh, fufu. Woo, woo. I don’t know what, like, just like empty, empty affirmations, like I’m, you know, I’m gonna attract a billion dollars in like, you know, but, um, so tell me about narratives

Joyu: Absolutely. So, Chris, I remember last time I went to your performance, you opened up like, kind of like your music store. Right? I love asking people the questions of, okay. If I meet somebody, new could be a client, could be, you know, just invite people to tell, tell a story about themselves. Sometimes it’s related to music, if we’re, you know, in the music content, but even just like, tell me a story about yourself. That could be something important to you could be just something that you find interesting, or maybe the first story that you kind of like remember.
And so sometimes people like, truly, like, I, I put them in the spot is like, I don’t know. I don’t have any stories. It’s like, just think for a second. Don’t think too hard. It could be. What was the last song that likes made you feel something or, um, is like playing rent-free in your head? Things like that. So stories we, we are made of.
One story after another. And our society likes to ask the questions like what’s wrong with you when something’s happening. Right. And Dr. Bruce Perry has a book written with Oprah talks about, what happened to you in a very, very gentle manner. It’s like what has shaped us to become the humans we are now.
And our stories truly are still continuously developing in so many different, um, different perspectives. And let me find something quickly. Uh, essentially it’s also like the stories that we tell ourselves are based on not just our own beliefs, but the ways we understand our lives are influenced by broader stories of the culture in which we live.
And so when I talk about the broader social contexts of the stories, these are influenced by gender identities, class systems, race, culture, spiritual differences in abilities, disabled bodies, and non-disabled bodies, neurotypical, neurodivergent, body size, body, weight, age, sexual orientation. These are all powerful contributors to the plot and the development of the stories.
And so right now, the stories that we tell ourselves, it’s not always because of us. A lot of times it’s shaped by all of these constant influences. Right. And I’m sure this is one of my posts, but I think I’m gonna, I’m gonna share this screen right here. Oh, that’s. I’m just gonna like talk about our dominant stories.
Let’s say between the years of life, days, week, month, and years. So Chris you’re turning fifties. So let’s say that you know, if we’re looking at the diagram, this is like the years of your life, and this is like the events. And let’s say it’s like stars. There are so many things that have happened in everyday life, some things that we hold onto.
And we remember some things that just happened and maybe we just forgot where we’re not paying attention to. So maybe once upon a time when you were younger or at one point something happened, or maybe some series of things happened that collectively decided that, okay, this is Chris’s story right now. And Chrisy mentioned like, let’s say 15, something happened or lots of things happen. Okay. So there is this very significant mile marker. And I’m using quotation marks it’s because who gets the slack? Who has the power to decide, what are your stories? Is this your story? Is this the story that other people decided for you?
And so let’s say that a significant event where certain things gave this, this incident more power.

[00:44:53] How certain stories and events become highlighted in our memories and dominate over others.

Joyu: And so it’s almost like then because of play music brain is always like anticipating what might be happening, where, you know, like those sayings, like we only listen to what we want to listen to, or we see what we want to see.
So that later on, maybe certain events and stories get highlighted and gain more power and become this dominant story. And then it’s linked, linked, linked. So let’s say that there are other very important things happening, but because it’s not relevant to this dominant story, it kind of gets written off and you as a person, this dominant story might just become as you get convinced too. We do that. This is, is the story of my life. Whether you feel this is truly authentic to who you are as a person or not. And in narratives, we have like all of these processes and exploration a, about being curious of the other, like, um, other things. So through deconstruction, we highlight possibly the other things that matter to you that are interesting to you that are more cur that you are more curious about.
And then link those things, becoming alternative stories. And when you go back and, and really like looking at, or reflecting at the dominant story, there’s also a lot of the pieces that. You can work through it, but also really acknowledge that you know, you’re kind of like taking your power back for yourself and deciding what is more meaningful for you.
So it’s not ignoring or neglecting, or as you said, like that talk positivity of just like, you know, I am like a changed person that way it’s like truly, truly honoring what has happened to you. Because there is a lot, a lot of information there, but you are not letting the so-called dominant story take over your life.
You’re exploring those alternatives to be able to give yourself, um, different perspectives, new opportunities. Broadening. Um, and we, we call like, you know, the hero’s journey, um, is such like an important concept in GIM, but it’s true when you are going through all of these different events and looking ahead of how you want to live your life, where is your story going?
You’re not limiting yourself to what has happened in the past.

Chris: Yeah. It, it comes up for me that, um, And you just mentioned GIM briefly. Mm-hmm, which I want to get into, which is guided imagery and music. Yes. And it’s a, uh, that’s what GIM stands for. And this is kind of a, a lesser known, well, I don’t mean I’m sure if it’s a lesser known, but it’s, uh, it’s a, it’s a music consciousness expanding.
Transformational therapy was developed by Dr. Hall Bonney. And so you’re, someone who has gone through extensive training and is able, to do this very particular type of therapy. And I want, I don’t wanna get into it too heavy today, but I do wanna make sure that people understand a little bit about it.
And you were just referencing this hero’s journey and saying that that is a part of something that is dealt with a lot in guided imagery and music therapy, which you do. Yes. And the way I understand it, you people come to you and you will play music and then guide them through a process where they’re talking about the images and the stories that they experience. Is that more or less true?

[00:48:53] How does Joyu implement imagery in her guided therapy services?

Joyu: Yes. So, guided music is a form of music psychotherapy. So, in a traditional one-on-one like a therapist, client session, um, it can take place between an hour and a half to two hours, but it’s almost like there are four parts in this. The first part of, the session itself is very similar to traditional psychotherapy.
I talk to my clients, we. What they’re bringing to the the the session like, and this is not just for, for people that are dealing with, um, mental health concerns. This is also, for people who are interested in growth and wellness self-exploration. That’s a really big piece is like, okay, I am curious to see how I can continue to, um, grow and cultivate more awareness for myself.
So I’m not just staying stuck in my everyday routine. So this first part, like it could be like maybe 20 minutes, maybe 30 minutes, depending on how serious things are.

[00:49:56] What are included in the “programs” Joyu mentioned?

Joyu: It is truly me assessing what’s going on with my client and depending on what the client is experiencing, I use the assessment to choose music programs that we’re gonna use for the day.
And currently the, um, so there’s like several, several programs that Dr. Hel, uh, Dr. Hell and Bonnie has.

Chris: When you say, when you say program though, you mean like a playlist, right?

Joyu: Yes. And each playlist or program is between 30 minutes to 40 minutes. And it is using different sequences of music. Currently, it’s majority classical music because it was developed in the seventies.
And the reason why it was primarily using classical music is also because of the instrumentation because of. The possibilities of, um, like these, the storytellings and the, and the music itself that can activate and stimulate different responses. And that when I talk about responses, it is a full-body response.
It’s not just, you know when the music is playing what you are visualizing. Um, some people are very kinesthetic-focused. They may. The sense that there’s like the movement of the body or, um, music can allow you to almost like going to a different time and place. I call it time travel. So bringing back different memories of the here and now, or some people can associate it with different smells and tastes.
And, um, even with like, when you’re thinking about like imagining, um, different environments, so like humidity, uh, like the specific temperature or what time of the day, those things are all part of the music experience.

Chris: But this reminds me of treating people with psychedelics, but without psychedelic drugs. Is that a fair comparison? I mean, although it’s.

Joyu: It is. We talk about, we talk about music as a legal high and in the seventies, Dr. Bonnie did research with LSD because they were very interested in using music and this content of how can it activate. These are very, very SP-specific explorations.
And so people who, who joined the research studies, they were, um, you know, working through, um, alcohol addiction or drug addictions or other different things. And back in the seventies, we were not in a trauma form or trauma aware. Generation. And so back then they didn’t realize that, wow, this, really, um, supports people working through trauma.
So this is like more of a recent research, um, and discovery.

Chris: So well, from what I understand, if people want to do this kind of like HCA or whatever, these, like, you know, these kinds of like these new treatments, which is like, are supposed to, I mean, I’ve heard.

[00:52:44] Using guided therapy services like the ones that Joyu offers as a much safer and cheaper alternative to psychedelic drugs.

Chris: Okay. So I’ve heard people claim that using certain psychedelic drugs could, in some cases be, um, effective treatment for someone with like something like depression.
But of course, I’m not a, I’m not making any claims here, but I also understand that would either be very dangerous or very expensive or both. Like, you know, people would have to go to, like, I’ve heard of people going to like south America and like, you know, too, and spending lots of money and then still, you know, having very dangerous experiences.
Right. Um, so I can only imagine that it’s just a fraction of the danger and expense. Well, there’s probably no danger, pretty much an expense if they wanted to come to you and see. Something like this guided imagery and music. Um, yeah, so that’s, that’s interesting. Um, now can I just ask a couple of really quick, uh, points of clarification?

[00:53:42] Are psychotherapy and psychoanalysis the same? If not, how are certain services categorized in those two groups?

Chris: So psychotherapy, is that the same as psychoanalysis or not? Yes or no.

Joyu: So when you added, when you bring music into psychotherapy?

Chris: No, but just psychotherapy mm-hmm I just mean, what is, I’m just asking a question like cuz I’ve been confused about this cuz there’s psychoanalysis mm-hmm, which I thought was Freudian. So what is, is psychotherapy the same thing or not?

Joyu: There are, um, overlapping, um, parts. In the process. So let’s say that a psychotherapist people will always be like, what does a psychotherapist do? So there’s a lot of different modalities, a psychotherapist, like talk therapy, is, um, we are treating people for emotional and mental illnesses, right?
So, in some ways the psychotherapy portion, um, it, it, it is about like, you know, going in depth of recognizing patterns, exploring things, you know, like really highlighting different, um, different things that are going on with the client. And so if I, let me think about this for a second, he’s like, what exactly does a psychotherapist do?
It can, it can, in, in some ways it overlaps with, um, it’s similar to counseling, so psychotherapy is deeper. More in-depth and addresses the underlying causes of the problems and also helps the client to solve them.

Chris: Counseling. I’m sorry, but counseling is counseling the same thing as psychoanalysis.
So I’m just, I’m just confused about terms so you, but you just said the word counseling, and I’m assuming that you were substituting that from my question, which is psychoanalysis. Typically, if I reach out to a counselor mm-hmm they are a licensed psychoanalyst. Is that the right word? Mm-hmm yes. And, they’re a counselor and, but, so I’m just trying to get clear on it. Is a different kind of counseling with which there is some overlap, is that correct?

Joyu: There is, um, some overlap, and because I want to be like, really mindful of how I’m explaining it because I’m not a counselor, but the scope of practice for counseling. There are similarities between psychotherapy and counseling.
Or some counselors are psychotherapists and a lot of this has to do with licensure and how they are categorized in which, which practice, um, scope of practice they belong.

Chris: Cool. That’s fine. I don’t need to, I, I, I, I don’t need to understand it. It. Um, but, uh, uh, I understand it what I mean to say is I understand it’s, it’s kind of complex.
But it, but. Fascinating to me that, yeah, that, that, and, and also it’s just to be clear, like, it seems like you do a lot of types, a lot of types of therapy. And, uh, and I’m not even gonna ask what they all are. People can reach out to you directly and they can learn more. But, um, but this thing about guided imagery and music, um, is a particular type of therapy. That deals with explorations of consciousness. And that it just helped me put it together when I made this, this, uh, comparison, I guess. And you kind of validated that there was, it’s like psychedelics without drugs, you know, kind of it’s like similar in that way. Um, so it’s fascinating. And, I think.
I think it’s also fascinating. Well, I wonder about your narrative and your journey that got you into doing all this, because I can only suspect that part of the reason you’re interested in psychology similar to me is that you’re trying to do your work. Of writing a narrative or, of freeing yourself from whatever narratives, you know, older narratives or limiting narratives.
And, I don’t know that to be true, but I’m just, I’m kind of wondering that. And so bring it back to the narrative. Um, is that true for you? Or would you like to say anything about that? Um, how this is related to, to narrative and the work that you do with, with people, which I think I, I talked about earlier, I read here, you work with a lot of teenagers who have all kinds of, um, things that are struggling with are in crisis.
You work with people in other demographic situations, you teach teachers, how important is this to you as far as helping people rewrite their narrative and how did you come into this?

[00:58:30] Describing Joyu’s narrative and journey that ultimately led her to where she is now.

Joyu: Uh, so I truly feel like. This is my life’s work. And I know that sounds incredibly cliche, my, um, you know, statement of the why of why I do what I do, um, that I truly like roped down as like, I guess my why is to listen and power and amplify individual stories so that together we can mind me, we can find meaning and true belonging.
So reflecting on my journey, um, as a kid, nobody in my family is a classical musician. My parents love music and appreciate music and they’re, uh, very creative people, but I don’t even really know how I got started. I just know that, like, I love the piano when I was a kid. And at the time when I was five, we were super, super, super poor.
My dad was, we were living on like, you know, pennies and like food stamps and all that. So asking for a piano is like mission impossible. But my mom is a creative person, she is creating the first paper keyboard for me. So she drew a paper keyboard. I think she even measured it out. So it would like to be very similar to the actual keyboard so I can learn the notes.
And I love telling this story because I think that was just such an example that stayed with me. One of those stories, right? That imagination is so important. Being curious is so important in shaping. Any practice and so fast forward, um, I got to, um, I think we got like a piano from a garage sale and there was a neighbor who likes, uh, offered me lessons for like a cheap fee.
And I just really, really loved practicing from a young age. And that was when my family was in us. My dad was getting his degree here, um, doing a Ph.D. in, in, um, civil engineering. So we moved back to Taiwan, which is where I’m originally from. And I just remember at that time I had probably the worst adjustment issues ever.
I was at that age that I was like, owed enough to know that I don’t fit in, but still very young that, you know, my mom wanted to keep the family together. She didn’t want me and her to be in us. My dad’s like being in Taiwan for all sorts of reasons. And so I joined a school orchestra, not knowing much just.
I played violin for fun and then decided that the cello was the same thing. And my teacher was just like, it’s not, but surely we need cells. So I started playing cello and I think it was just like orchestra gave me music, music, and stories. Cause I love reading no matter where I go, like reading has always been part of my, um, just who I am and what I always do.
I’m always reading. So I think music and, and stories have truly like saved my life in some ways because no matter what I’m doing, there’s always a sense of belonging. And I was fortunate to have great teachers, um, here and there. And there’s like a lot of twists and turns in this, but to be part of the classical music world in Taiwan is at the time, I, I think nobody thought that I could do it because.
I have no historical background and no backup support. My family’s very modest, like, and, and this is like in the nineties in Taiwan most, um, and this is very similar and I think a lot of Asian countries too like I’ve lived in Japan for work. And I talked a lot of Korean friends when somebody goes into classical music, it’s almost like you either have money.
You come for money or it’s some sort of social status. And I have none of that. And so I have been an outsider all my life, but the interesting thing is, and music, when I’m playing chess, when I’m playing piano, I feel like truly, like on top of the world, I just really felt like music validated me in so many ways, the connections and the teach teachings that I built with my, my teachers and.
Dedication to practice. And because I wanted to be a really good mu musician. So I worked hard, but I also knew that just working hard is not enough because it’s also about networking opportunities, about connections. So I think at that time I was just believing that, okay, if I work hard enough, I could get a spot at the table.
And I think with a lot of support from truly my private teachers, I was enrolled in the best high school, the best college for music education, um, for performance actually in Taiwan’s called music education, but it’s for performance and. Even then I still felt like an imposter truly, just, maybe it’s just like the dumb look that I, you know, got into a great school, dumb look that I won competitions or things like that.
Um, and I don’t think I ever truly felt like I was part of the classical music scene, even though that was what I was doing every day until I moved to Cleveland for graduate school. And I went to the Cleveland Institute of music, which is an amazing string conservatory. And it’s very expensive even with scholarships.
So I just remember that once I got to the school, it was really funny because everybody that is there just everybody’s practicing. Everybody’s like this love for music. It’s just so prevalent. And of course, there’s like students, you know, that, that comes from like these, these like, uh, really long traditions, like their parents, their grandparents, they’re all like classical musicians.
But I met a lot of people that are similar to me that just have this passion for music. And that was a really big missing piece growing up, I felt like I was somebody that just deeply loved music and I don’t necessarily have all the resources, but this love for music is what motivated me to keep going.
But most of my classmates were a lot of people. I know. Don’t share that passion where it’s almost like something you do and you’re good at. And I think there was always that disconnection of why this is so important to me and, you know, between graduate school and then getting a job in the orchestra and Japan continued to ask those questions, like, what is music to me?
Why is this so important to me? What connections? Do I want to continue to build? And so when I went into music therapy, it was, I think, asking those questions, this, what more. What can I do with music I love performing. I still do. I think there truly if I reflect when there’s a full house and you’re performing Moler and you’re like, you have a seat on the stage and just playing such great music with people that exhilaration of being able to perform and people attending live conscious, live music.
There’s something that’s just beyond words. But I also really remember when I was in Cleveland and I, um, you know, as a student, you do all sorts of things to like kind of make some extra income I collaborated with. Um, I think it, I don’t know if they still exist, it’s called access of the arts and would go into like assistant living homes and hospitals and do like these like 20 minutes, like kind of like lecture concerts.
And so maybe there would like to be 10 people that come to like my little solo cello concert, but I would tell them. I would tell them, um, what I’m playing today, what to listen for, what might be kind of like the background and invite them to be part of the experience. This is like way before my therapy years.
And I just remember those like many series when I’m so intentional about what I’m doing and if you wanna call mindfulness. Yes. I didn’t know that, what I was doing. I just knew that I wanted to bring people into this space and share the space and music. And I have this responsibility, of bringing music in a way that’s intentional for them.
And this is why I know now back then, I was just like, I think it would be cool to tell them some stories and, you know, help people feel better. Whatnot. You know, I was 22 years old. Didn’t know much. and those concerts stayed with me of what people would report or share with me afterward.
And, they would describe it as just like my heart was racing before coming to your concert. And I just really felt like the cello was playing just for me. And, or some people would be like, I, I have heard the song before. I never really was able to experience it in such, a common, gentle manner. So I think those experiences sta like inspired me to explore more what music can do, and from a very practical perspective, and also break down those barriers of classical music.
Isn’t just for the selected groupings of people and you have to have money and access and resource to be part of this world. Um, I truly feel like classical music because it has such a long tradition and because there was limited access to it. Some folks. And I just think about my dad. He comes from this tiny rural country, like a little town in the mountains, in Northern Taiwan.
Um, so there’s mostly folk songs and then, you know, the traditional instruments. Um, but my dad, I don’t know where he was just like a very curious person. So he would listen to some different CDs and he just liked to appreciate classical music because it probably sounded good and felt good while he was listening to it.
And, again, both and my mom worked hard and they were like saving up to study abroad. But when my mom was pregnant with me, I think like eight months rush to PVI was still doing a lot of concerts, and came to Taiwan. And my dad bought these really expensive tickets, probably worth of two weeks of groceries. And insisted on taking my mom to the concert. And so my mom was pregnant with me and my mom said that she doesn’t remember anything except for his shareware super shiny. And I think he played them solo block. So I just think about, you know, my parents who truly came from nothing and class community spoke to them, not because it was fancy, not because there was something prestigious it’s music.
It’s something that if it’s a genre that is, it’s like every, I love to say almost everybody likes music. It just depends on what type. And maybe you don’t like classical music because you weren’t exposed to it, or maybe you didn’t have the opportunity to try it out or to experience it in a way that didn’t feel so intimidating or didn’t feel like you had to like to dress up and look nice and not clap in between movements and stay still for an hour.
And. Don’t get me wrong. I love going to classical music concerts, but I also really feel like there are so many different ways to bring classical music into people’s lives. And that’s really how I found GIM, like my first semester at Appalachian state university in Bo, North Carolina, my mentor, Dr. Kathy McKenney, who is the music therapy director at app state.
Um, she is a very important researcher and clinician in the GIM world. Um, her and, um, Maddie Ventry, my mentors have done amazing things for my GIM training, but I just remember taking a class. It was music therapy, intro reading journal articles about. Just different therapy practice. And this was a specific article talking about GIM and the power of healing, working with somebody that had a terminal cancer diagnosis.
And what caught my attention was they were describing hide and cell concert, second movement, the C major one, which is like every cellist in classical music, you know, training, you would learn that piece at one point or the other because it’s like standard repertoire. And just, the description of how this woman was experiencing this music, and, you know, like this therapeutic process of holding a conversation with her therapist, guiding through herself exploration of grief of loss and promoting healing.
I could not stop reading. And I just remember, I was like, I have to learn about this. Like, what is this like as a cellist? How do I know? Not know that the Cello Concerto of Haydn was being used in these avenues and things like that. And so. Talked to my professors went into training and because of my experience and knowledge of, and, you know, from performance and just from a long-time music lover of all of these experiences in music, it brings it into the therapeutic lenses and going through JM training helped me find that integration between the practicality and the aesthetic of music and how that can be used for healing.
And in every person’s hero’s journey, it is about meeting your full finding and loving up to your full potential and of course stories, right? Because when you talk about imagination, think about Fantasia, you know, Mickey mouse and the sources of the princess, and going through all that, every person, when they listen to music, Music is, it has. All pervasive qualities.
It activates all these different things you can relinquish or let go of. Some of your control is a little bit easier because of the music or you can release and work through intense emotions and have opportunities to redirect and restructure different personal experiences through the support and the help of music.

Chris: Beautiful. Well, I want to acknowledge you for your beautiful articulation and unique articulation of so many concepts and for stringing them together in be. Narratives, you know, I wanna acknowledge you for your passion, for reading and music and knowledge that keeps you, you know, constantly learning new modalities and you know, all the certifications that you bring together in a, in a, in an incredible confluence of, uh, of skills that you have, um, and, uh, and acknowledge you for service that you provide so many people as a therapist, as a musician too, and just acknowledge you as being an inspiration.
I think it’s, you know, people that hear your story, you know, will be inspired. I’m inspired by you. So I just wanna thank you. Thank Chris for that. Yeah.

[01:14:04] Learn more about add’s SupportEd program here:

Chris: And, uh I want to mention again that I get to thank Yamaha for supporting creative string players and supporting the Creative Strings Podcast.
If you go to Support Ed, or Yamaha Support ed, just look it up. That’s as in support education, uh, great resources for teachers, uh, and anybody in music education, uh, free resources from Yamaha, and Electric Violin Shop, who has supported us through all 52 episodes. Now, um, electricviolinshop.com, get their phone number. You can call them and you will find a human being to talk to you during business hours, in North Carolina business hours. For people who want to find Joyu Lee. Go to musicandyourmind.com, musicandyourmind.com or, find her inspiring posts and follow her on Instagram, same handle Music, and your Mind, and reach out to her. I can testify that she will respond to your email, and I’m sure that, she could help guide you in more ways.
If you wanna learn more about any of the stuff that we’ve talked about today. Is there anything you’d like to add?

[01:15:20] Joyu’s final thoughts.

Joyu: Yeah, Chris, thank you so much for sharing this space and inviting me to talk to your listeners. And, um, I hope everybody who is listening to this podcast, just be kinder to yourself.
Truly, truly. I think we’ve talked about mindfulness. We talked about grounding. We’ve talked about stories. We’ve talked about therapy, all of these things. It’s about. Truly coming back to you and giving yourself opportunities to be curious about life and to permit yourself, to feel all the different things too.
So thank you.

Chris: Beautiful. I love that. Okay, everybody. Well, we will, I will see you at the next one. You can learn more at christianhowes.com or creativestrings.org. Find out about all of our free programs, more podcasts guided practice sessions. Learn about improvisation, entrepreneurship, coaching, teacher training, and more.
Feel free to reach out to me anytime at chris@christianhowes.com and we’ll see you at the next one. Thanks again Joyu.

Joyu: Thanks so much, Chris.


About Our Guest...

Joyu Lee is a Senior Therapist at UNC Health in Chapel Hill, NC, who specializes in working with teens and young adults with eating disorders and mental health concerns. As a Board-Certified Music Therapist with 18+ years of combined international experiences in creative/expressive arts therapy, cello performance, music education, and arts administration, Joyu has been providing re-educative, insight-building music psychotherapy sessions for groups and individuals on a daily basis.

Joyu’s extensive training includes the Bonny Method Guided Imagery and Music (GIM- Music Psychotherapy) and a fellowship with the Association for Music and Imagery. She has also been mentored by Dr. Dag Körlin, a Swedish Psychiatrist, certified Psychotherapist, Supervisor, and Primary Trainer of the GIM method, Director of “IMAGEing: European GIM Trainings,” for the “Music Breathing” certificate. Additionally, she has completed Part I of III for the CREATING MANDALAS Certificate Program (CMCP) and is a Narrative Therapy influenced practitioner.

Joyu’s passion for serving and working in the mental health medical field is reflected in her past work experience at Cherry Hospital (Goldsboro, NC), Central Regional Hospital (Butner, NC), Advocate Lutheran General Hospital and Children’s Hospital (Park Ridge, IL), Hidden Stream Counseling (Raleigh, NC), and Voices Together (Chapel Hill, NC). Her unique international experiences, having been born in Taiwan and raised in New York state, and being a core member of the Hyogo Performing Arts Center Orchestra in Nishinomiya, Japan, have given her a broad perspective on the healing power of music therapy.

As the owner of Music and Your Mind, LLC, and a founding member of Vida Strings, Joyu strives to use music therapy to address the intertwined nature of the body and mind, especially on how mental health impacts physical health and vice versa. She firmly believes in the power of music to positively alter both the body and mind, and she is dedicated to sharing that belief with her patients. With her experience, training, and passion for music therapy, Joyu is making a positive impact on the mental health of her patients every day



Creative Strings Podcast
Christian Howes presents the Creative Strings Podcast:
Exploring intersections between creativity, music education, string playing, DIY music business, and culture.

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If you enjoyed my interview with Andrea Whitt, check out these related posts:

Full Interview with Jazz Violinist Regina Carter Creative Practice Strategies for Violin, Viola, and Cello Full Interview with Jazz Violinist Jason Anick

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“Creative Strings” initiatives with the founding of Camille Catherine, Inc., is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization dedicated to the expansion and improvement of music education, with a focus on the development of curriculum and programs for classically trained string players and teachers to expand their skills as creative musicians.