“I would rather walk with a friend in the dark, than alone in the light.”
“Friendship is unnecessary, like philosophy, like art…. It has no survival value; rather it is one of those things which give value to survival.”
“Anybody can sympathise with the sufferings of a friend, but it requires a very fine nature to sympathise with a friend’s success.”
“In poverty and other misfortunes of life, true friends are a sure refuge. They keep the young out of mischief; they comfort and aid the old in their weakness, and they incite those in the prime of life to noble deeds.”
“Best friends don’t necessarily have to talk every day. They don’t even need to talk for weeks. But when they do, it’s like they never stopped talking.”
These are just a few of the many reflections on the importance and significance of friendship. In THIS article on Psych Central, Jane Collingwood outlines research which indicates that presance or lack of friendships in a person’s life can be a direct cause of their eating habits, marital success, business success, overal welbeing and happiness, and quality of life. This is a crucial aspect of a person’s life from early childhood to end of life. The people you spend your time with can make or break you because of the amount of influence your peers have on your lifestyle. That’s not to say people cannot make their own decisions, but it is good to be aware of the psychological significance of this type of relationship. As Music Therapists, we have incredible opportunities to facilitate the dynamics of many different stages of relationships in a clinical setting. The ability and need for developing friendships have been prevalent in our body of research as well. In 2010, Carol Mi Hwan Choi explores the psychological themes present in refugee adolescents from North Korea in the context of Music Therapy. The lack of social network and ability to make friendships was a key factor in the results of this study. In 2011, Lilian Eyre published research which indicates that participating in Therapeutic Chorale increased sense of being valued, belonging, and friendship among persons with Mental Illnesses. These are only 2 of the many articles found in the Journal of Music Therapy which site friendship as a key factor in achieving better quality of life.
June 8th is National Best Friends Day. In case any of you are planning on celebrating this day within your clinical work, I thought I would provide the resources for you ahead of time. Our repertoire for the month is made up of a diverse collection of friendship songs which you may find helpful when exploring/celebrating this concept in a clinical setting.
- We’re Going to be Friends – the White Stripes
- You’re My Best Friend – Queen
- I’ll Be There – The Jackson 5
- Lean on Me – Bill Withers
- In My Life – The Beatles
- You’ve Got a Friend in Me – Randy Newman
- Umbrella – Rihanna ft. Jay Z
- With a Little Help From My Friends – The Beatles
- I’ll Be There for You – The Rembrandts
- Count on Me – Bruno Mars
- Anytime You Need a Friend – Mariah Carey
- I’ll Stand By you – the Pretenders
- Best Friend – Harry Nelson
- Wannabe – The Spice Girls
- That’s What Friends Are For – Donna Warwick
- My Best Friend – Weezer
- You’ve Got a Friend – James Taylor
- 22 – Taylor
Resources for facilitating friendship development
- Getting acquainted with Friends – A to Z Kids Stuff
- Top 10 Friendship Printables – Teacher Vision
- The Top 10 Friendship Games and Activities – Healthline
Many of the above activity resources are designed for use with children, but may be easily adapted for use with a variety of ages and developmental levels.
I have barely scratched the surface on this topic, but I hope you find some of this information useful! I would love to hear more suggestions for Friendship repertoire. Comment below or send us an email!
Happy May everybody!