Joel Kroeker believes in the power of music.
The clinical counsellor and music therapist was bred into a music family which helped him to foster his own love for the art.
His love for music led him to play on different world stages and touring with big names such as Randy Bachmann, Bruce Cockburn and Colin James.
He’s been nominated for Songwriter of the Year at the Western Canadian Music Awards, alongside artists such as Nelly Furtado and Sarah McLachlan as well as winning Pop Album of the Year for his most recent release Closer to the Flame.
“It’s been a really amazing experience from a few different sides. It’s fun to tour and play music with a bunch of different people and audiences,” he said.
During different tours, Kroeker noticed the impact music made on the lives around him.
“Going on the road, I realized people were doing a lot of healing on their own to deal with trauma. They were using music to heal themselves.”
Kroeker helps people with everything from mental illness to those recovering from strokes. He says illness and disability doesn’t exist in music making.
“When we’re making music, the music is not ill.”
The therapy includes four basic concepts which are song writing, active listening, imagination and playing.
“Music engages so much of our person that it’s one of the best possible ways of connecting with health and returning to a state of health,” he said.
Most people that come to him have already tried medicine and talk therapy routes, with little success.
“Usually people dealing with mental illness have run out of words to describe. You can share and communicate so much without words.”
In his spare time, not that there is much, he works at completing his Swiss post-graduate psychotherapeutic program to become a Jungian analyst, which includes working non-verbally through a combination of arts.
“It’s been really mind blowing for me to see how potent these different arts are together,” he says from his Fairfield home.
Kroeker will be hosting workshops on March 6 at UVic and March 7 at Sleeping Dog Farm.
For more information on upcoming workshops or courses, please go online to joelkroeker.com.