I taught a music class a couple weeks ago that turned into a message about reality vs perception and how that shapes our behavior. I started with the song “what a wonderful world” by Louie Armstrong and weaved this happy-go-lucky song into a lesson about how much our environment can affect our mood based on our perception about what is actually going on. We talked about our feelings during the beginning instrumentals and our thoughts on the lyrics of funny songs. We talked about how something as simple as music can change a person’s mood so drastically. If you’re upset and listen to a slow or dramatic song it may very well exemplify your sadness, while on the other hand, an upbeat tune can lighten your internal landscape.
By the end of class we were discussing our power of choice allowing us to alter our realities (even mildly, like through music) and thereby our perception. Perception is simply a collection of thoughts and beliefs that make the scale tip one way or the other. Either creating a positive or negative mood. There’s the old cliche about the glass half full or half empty. Both are correct. Both are reality. Whichever I choose to see is my perception of reality and my perception will ultimately affect my behavior.
The lesson ended with my trying teach them about coping skills for our emotions, ways our perception is affected, the power of choice and how we can change our behavior.