Anyone browsing this website will find a lot of content relating to channelled music. I wasn’t familiar with the term ‘channelled music’ at all until my mid forties despite having been a music enthusiast for many years. I first came across this expression shortly after my initial life-changing therapy appointment with Carol Lamb.
Carol had told me during that initial appointment that I should be writing music but I wasn’t convinced that I was capable of doing this. During a follow up meeting, she told me that she believed that I could channel music and explained that this involved receiving music from sources beyond the brain rather than trying to create music through mental effort.
Music homework assignment
This explanation sounded a little strange but nonetheless it immediately struck a chord with me. It reminded me of something unusual that had happened to me many years ago when doing my school music homework. We had weekly music lessons in which we mainly learned about the language of music, covering topics such as musical terminology, how to read and write music, the do’s and don’ts of combining notes to create harmonic music, and so on. These classes provided very little scope for creative musical expression but our homework assignments did occasionally give some opportunities. For example, our teacher would occasionally hand out sheet music containing a melody line and ask us to write a counter-melody line to go with it. Sometimes he would get us to write out chords that would complement a melody.
I wasn’t a model student and I tended to defer homework until the last possible moment, often completing assignments such as these on the bus into school. On one occasion however I decided to complete my music homework as soon as I got home. Our teacher, Mr. Daines, had given the class some sheet music containing a five note melodic phrase and asked us to complete a melody.
I could read music so I was able to ‘hear’ these notes in my mind. After doing this a few times, I started to get a clear idea of how to continue the melody. I began writing out the notes and as I completed each phrase, the next bit came to me straight away. It was so quick and easy that I wondered whether it was a tune that I had heard before. I finished it in minutes and played the completed melody on the piano to check it sounded okay.
Breaking the rules
As I played it, I knew that there was a problem. Our instructions specified that we use only the notes of a major scale (Doh-Ray-Me, etc) and to avoid using any ‘accidentals’. The image below shows my completed melody line. The note before the final repeat of the melody, which I’ve highlighted with a green arrow, was an accidental, D#. I knew I could make the tune fit the homework rules by using a different note but I felt it was right as it was so I decided against changing it.
I handed in my homework and at our next music lesson Mr. Daines gave back the marked assignments. He’d given me a mark of 9 out of 10 and a ‘Very Good’ comment but had, as I’d expected, drawn a red line around the ‘rule-breaking’ note. He played this piece to the class to illustrate why I should have replaced the D# with a G (which would have made the mark 10 out of 10) but I still felt it shouldn’t be changed.
It would have been wonderful if I could have always completed my homework with the same speed and ease but sadly this was a one-off event for me. It was also unique in that I have never forgotten a single note of that melody, even though I cannot remember anything whatsoever of my other homework assignments.
I related this story to Carol who assured me that this experience had the characteristics of music channelling. This surprised me a little but it proved to be one of the factors that eventually convinced me that I might be capable of composing music.
There’s a postscript to this story. In 2015, I collaborated with a friend, Jennifer Warters, to make a music based CD pack for helping the development of young children. Jennifer needed some music to accompany one of the tracks, which was a comforting bedtime story to help young children drift off to a peaceful sleep. The school melody seemed a perfect fit to accompany parts of this story and so I was delighted that after all these years, it has finally been put to use.