Music Therapy with Jessica Risker

Music Therapy with Jessica Risker

Music Therapy is a mental health podcast for musicians and music fans. Musician and licensed therapist Jessica Risker interviews musicians and therapists to explore issues around mental health, creativity, and music careers. People don’t often talk about the most vulnerable part of their lives - the emotional spaces between the lines of the wikipedia entry. In a carefully curated world of social media, it’s nice to hear what other musicians actually have going on beneath the surface. The Music Therapy podcast looks beyond the bullet points of a music career and explores how people really think, feel, and act when they’re struggling and growing creatively. Refreshingly relatable, the podcast focuses a magnifying glass on musicians’ anxiety about shortcomings in their career, creative processes, and mental health struggles.

Episodes

May 18, 2022 66 min

Angela James is a Chicago singer-songwriter who just released a beautiful new album, co-produced with David Vandervelde (Father John Misty) called "Now That I Have You". ​

"I'm making what I feel like is the best work in my career. I had a lot of opportunities early in my career, and that was great, but I was so new and I had just started writing songs and just started playing music, and I didn't have the confid...

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In this episode of Music Therapy I talk with musician, friend, and bandmate @joshua_w_wentz !! Josh and I discuss his rich and varied music career (not financially lol), how he stays so active in music, his perspective on success/failure in music, growth as a musician and how that changes output, authenticity in music, his annual 12 Days of Mike Oldfield album, his newest album Live at Tone Deaf Records out this Friday on 1473 ...

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We see the phrase "toxic" all the time - toxic person, toxic workplace, toxic relationship - but what exactly does it mean?  And, how do you deal with a toxic person/coworker/family member/bandmate?

Chicago therapist Lynn Zakeri, LCSW and I dive into the meaning of the word "toxic" and share how to deal with a toxic person!

We explore:

What exactly is a “toxic person”?

How do you know if you’re dealing with a toxic ...

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Ryan Hall of Whited Sepulchre Records discusses using music as an emotional processing tool, running through the graveyard, how he manages to work two jobs and run a busy record label, squaring business with creativity, what exactly EMDR is, plus lots more on this week's episode of Music Therapy!

Visit musictherapypodcast.com for show notes, past episodes, and upcoming events!

Credits: 

Music Therapy is hosted by Jessica Risker...

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As a musician, how do you deal with the necessary evil of social media?  What does 2 years of quarantine do to your ability to perform?  If you had professional musicians for parents, would you want to follow their path?

We get into all these questions and more with Chicago musician Devin Shaffer - including her most debut album "In My Dreams I’m There”, the breakdown she experienced after its release, making a living off music...

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Kirk Rawlings is one-half of Chicago band Courtesy, and we go deep in this very candid, personal, and surprisingly uplifting episode of Music Therapy. 

Kirk shares Courtesy's creative process,  his relationship with psychiatric and street drugs, dealing with anxiety and depression, his evolving definition of artistic success and how his two suicide attempts changed him.  

We also talk about Courtesy's new album "Check t...

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Does performing make you nervous?

In this week's episode of Music Therapy, I talk with psychologist Dr. Claire Kubiesa on overcoming performance anxiety!

​Whether you're just starting out or have been performing for years, this episode has tons of information on overcoming performance anxiety.  

In this episode we cover:

  • What is performance anxiety?

  • What does your identity have to do with performance anxiety?

  • Ho...

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    Group Session!  In this episode I talk with Chicago's jazz-fusion sextet Cordoba.   Learn how 6 busy band members find time to practice, how they come up with their musical ideas, and how all their personalities work together.   Featuring an amazing live performance from the band!  

    Visit musictherapypodcast.com for show notes, past episodes, and upcoming events!

    Credits: 

    Music Therapy is hosted by Jessica Risker, produced ...

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    As a therapist, I often work with couples.  Couples generally come to therapy when they need some help, and as you might imagine, it can be tense. 

    That's why it was so nice to talk with Maya Bon and Ryan Albert of Babehoven.  They have a very sweet dynamic!  I've always wondered what it would be like to work on music while dating a bandmate, and it was really interesting to hear how they come up with ideas, give each othe...

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    Music Therapy is back with our first episode of 2022! In this episode of Music Therapy I talk with songwriter, composer, and producer Quinn Tsan!! Quinn and I talk about how she got into composing for films, her struggle with the vanity of music self-promotion, her mysterious upcoming project, the risks involved in pursuing an indie music career, new music she’s working on, and plenty more!

    Quinn was so easy to talk to and althoug...

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    Hello everyone!  I'm taking a break from releasing episodes until 2022.  Here's a short episode with info about upcoming events.  I hope you have a wonderful holiday season, and thanks for listening to the podcast this year!  We have a lot of big plans for 2022, so stay tuned and visit musictherapypodcast.com

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    In this episode of Music Therapy I talk with Camilo Medina of Divino Niño!  Camilo shares his sacred bath routine, moving from an ad agency to freelance work, how the band creates together, how they’re evolving their recording process as they work on their new album, spirituality, the spirit of collaboration, and much more!!  We also hear two new tracks from Divino Niño: Bleach and Drive.

    My thoughts:  Camilo is a super talented a...

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    In this episode of Music Therapy I talk with Darien Williams of Unmanned Ship, M!NES, Cat Mullins & themboys and faug!! We discuss  balancing work and creativity, being in four different bands, running a kombucha business, putting out 4 albums next year, utilizing space and dynamics in music, how the pandemic changed creativity, running the Cafe Mustache streaming channel, and tons more!!

     

    Visit musictherapypodcast.com for s...

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    On this episode of Music Therapy I talk with comedian and musician Steve Malden (formerly Steve Gerard).  Steve is one of my very favorite comedians and he moved to NYC one week ago from Chicago.  This is a snapshot of an artist the moment they move into the next level of their career.

    We discuss a variety of things:  Why did he move to New York?  What’s the difference between the comedy scenes and music scenes?  What is Kratom?  ...

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    October 19, 2021 81 min

    What happens when a band comes to an end?  In this episode of Music Therapy, I talk with all four members of Chicago DIY darlings Richard Album as they play their very last show.  In a touching and surprisingly emotional episode, I talk with the band as they reflect on their time together, share some of their best and worst band memories, and play a killer live set.    

    This episode is a monthly installment of Music Therapy called...

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    This episode of Music Therapy features Savanna Dickhut of Burr Oak!  Savanna talks about intense anxiety before performing, dealing with writer’s block, drinking as a coping mechanism before shows, her songwriting process, how the pandemic changed her music career goals,  her new album "Late Bloomer" out now, and more!!

    Visit musictherapypodcast.com for show notes, past episodes, and events!

    Credits: 

    Music Therapy is ho...

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    Pandemic stress impacts every aspect of our lives - our bodies, mental health, relationships, work, and our creativity.  You may be feeling burned out, depleted, irritable, malaise, or just generally not the best version of yourself. 

    In this episode of Music Therapy, we focus on understanding prolonged stress, and the tolls it takes on our lives and well-being.  You also learn actions you can take today to cope and feel more like...

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    In this episode of Music Therapy I talk with Chicago musician Macie Stewart!  Macie talks about the surprising thing she learned about herself during the pandemic, the challenges of maintain mental health and relationships on the road, her new album “Mouth Full of Glass” coming out Sept 24 via Orindal Records, her biggest fears for her music as well as her biggest hopes - and more!

    Visit musictherapypodcast.com for show notes, pas...

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    September 21, 2021 51 min

    In this episode of Music Therapy, I talk with Chicago country crooner "Lonesome Andrew" aka Andrew Sa!  

    Andrew talks about creating his latest film project "Andrew In Anotherland", learning to love collaboration, dishes on the snobbish culture of cover artists, why country music is so important for men, his number one piece of advice for artists trying to find their voice, and much more!

    Show Notes

    Credits: 

    Mu...

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    In this episode of Music Therapy, Jessica Risker braves the twisted minds of two of the most outrageous characters in Chicago, Maxwell Allison and Doug Kaplan of the label Hausu Mountain, and their duo project Pepper Mill Rondo. The two have been collaborating as business partners and musicians for nearly a decade turning out tape after tape of experimental and straight up demented electronic and electronics + artists.  This in...

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