When I first heard about Rock to Recovery, I had no idea what it was. But with the excitement from my co-workers and the hands on experience of attending the groups, I’ve learned it’s actually really cool.
Wesley Geer founded Rock to Recovery, a nonprofit organization, in late 2002. Wesley started it after being a professional musician for over two decades. He understands addiction and recovery from his personal experiences and realized how big of an impact music therapy has on people in recovery. He recruited a few other musicians shortly after and started helping others to a sober life.
Whether you’ve played a musical instrument or not, anyone can participate in Rock to Recovery. In the beginning of the group, the Rock to Recovery leader introduces himself and talks about his recovery journey. He goes around and talks to clients about their story and if they want to open up about what it’s been like being sober. After that, the leader arranges each client with an instrument. If you have a specific request (to sing or play guitar, etc.), you can definitely do so. If you’ve never played an instrument before, the leader will teach you basic notes on the instrument you’d like to play.
- Assign instruments
- Assign singer/songwriter
- Pick a beat
- Learn basic key notes
- Create lyrics as you go
- Practice, practice, practice
- Take breaks
The entire song is based on recovery, so it’s interesting to hear client’s perspectives on their experience and progress with addiction & recovery. Many of them write based on their life and experience, which in the end helps them open up and express themselves. It teaches them to be aware of their addiction and express how they feel when they’re sober. They express the gratitude they have, how their recovery program has helped them and how they’re ready to take on sobriety. They could be feeling hopeless, but now they’re hopeful. They’re stronger than they were in the addiction world.
- Raises self-esteem
- Communication and language skills
- Social skills
- Manage stress
- Enhance memory function
- Increase levels of Oxytocin
- Working as a group
- Learn that sobriety can be fun
There’s no denying that music can enhance your recovery. The ability to express yourself through music and lyrics helps tremendously with self-esteem and happiness. If you’d like to learn more about Rock to Recovery, visit their website for more information. You can also donate to their nonprofit organization by clicking this link.
If you or someone you know is suffering from addiction, New Start can help. We have onsite staff that are ready to help you reach sobriety. Call us at 855-737-7363, chat with us online or fill out a contact form. We would love to help.