The Neurodivergent Musician

#2 Finding Your Identity

March 22, 2023 Jon Hart Episode 2
The Neurodivergent Musician
#2 Finding Your Identity
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Show Notes Transcript Chapter Markers

In this episode, Jon explores identity, which is complex and multi-dimensional, but it can be especially challenging for those of us who are neurodivergent, especially if there is a lot of internal and external chaos. Each episode is broken up into a traffic light format.

Red Section = Insights
Amber Section = Improvised - Lord of the Rings analogies
Green Section = Recommendation, which is Chat GPT & Grammarly

Like with every new project Jon is learning the ropes with podcasting. Give it a few episodes and he'll be in his stride - or not. The impulsive/convoluted babble is part of Jon being able to unmask and speak freely. Not something he's able to do much in the neurotypical world and music industry.

🎵 December (Transition) from Jon's Annual album, which you can listen to on all streaming platforms or jonhartmusic.com

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I'd love to hear from you and help build this community. If you know other neurodivergent musicians (or musicians who may be curious) please do share around.

Hey and welcome to the Neurodivergent Musician Podcast. I'm your host, Jon Hart along with Luna my guitar and today i’ll be talking about identity. Each episode is broken up into a traffic light format where I’ll share insights in the red section, improvised stories in the amber and recommendations you might find handy in the green.


Now there will be cross overs in episodes and I apologise now if I repeat the same thing - my working memory is terrible (a lot of Neurodivergents might relate with this) and I forget a lot unless it’s connected to emotional and feelings.


And just a quick disclaimer. I’m not a expert (yet) or qualified (yet) so anything I say are my thoughts and feelings. Please do seek out expert knowledge if you want to go into rabbit hole though.


So Identity! It is a complex and multi-dimensional, but it can be especially challenging for those of us who are neurodivergent. We often struggle to fit into "normal" (whatever normal is) that our world and society has set, which can make it difficult to feel like we belong and connected with others. In this episode, we'll explore what it means to be a neurodivergent musician and how we can embrace our unique identities in the music world.


First, it's important to understand that being neurodivergent is not a flaw or a weakness - although we may feel this at times. In fact, many neurodivergent individuals have unique talents and abilities that can be used and enhacned to create great music. We might see the world in a different way than neurotypical individuals, and that perspective can lead to exciting and creative music-making.


However, we might also struggle with certain aspects of music-making that come naturally to others. For example, we might have difficulty with social interactions in the music industry, networking can be a nightmare as well, or we might find it challenging to focus on certain tasks for extended periods of time, especially when our brain is flicking between lots of channels. It's important to acknowledge these challenges and work on coping mechanisms and strategies to overcome them, but it's equally important to champion our strengths and unique viewing point.


So how can we embrace and enhance our neurodivergent identities as musicians? One way is to find communities of like-minded individuals who can offer support, understanding, and validation. Something I’ve been striving for, for a very long time as I felt completely out of place amongst my peers and the music industry. These communities might include other neurodivergent musicians (which is something I’m building), or they might be groups of individuals who share our passion all types of music and knowledge. We are quite a clitchy bunch when we come together. 


Another way to embrace our neurodivergent identities is to incorporate our authentic selfs and views into our music-making. We might experiment with unusual sounds, textures, keys or rhythms, or we might explore topics that are important to us as neurodivergent individuals. By being true to ourselves and our experiences, we can create music that is authentic and powerful. I’ve found writing for myself first has helped others to connect to it rather than write what others would like to hear. This is my true self in motion.


Of course, embracing our neurodivergent identities as musicians is not always easy. We might face stigma or misunderstanding in the music industry, or we might struggle with imposter syndrome and low self esteem, which I’ll go into more in future episodes. But it's important to remember that our neurodivergent identities are part of who we are and how we navigate the world. We shouldn’t have to walk around with a mask and conform to others way of living. I see the neurotypical world as mono and the neurodivergent world as stereo. And i’ve never heard anyone tell me they would prefer to listen to music in mono over stereo. So why are we living this way? Like Bob Dylan famous song title ‘The Times They Are A-Changin'


So if you're a neurodivergent musician, I encourage you to celebrate your unique identity and share your incredible talents with the world in any shape or form. And if you're a neurotypical individual who works in the music industry, I encourage you to listen, learn and support your neurodivergent colleagues. Together, we can create a more inclusive and supportive music world for everyone.


So that’s it for the red section. I’ll just take a quick break and then go into my convoluted and improvised babble in the amber section. See you then!


Red Section - Insights
Amber Section - Improvised
Green Section - Recommendation