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About Instrumental

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About Instrumental

This project is created by The Glenn Gould Foundation and inspired by the life and career of James Rhodes, a British pianist whose childhood trauma led to severe mental illness and years of struggle along the journey to recovery. 

“The unassailable fact is that music has, quite literally, saved my life and, I believe, the lives of countless others. It provides company when there is none, understanding where there is confusion, comfort where there is distress, and sheer, unpolluted energy where there is a hollow shell of brokenness and fatigue.” – James Rhodes, Instrumental: A Memoir of Madness, Medication and Music. 

What This Project Is

Teens are facing so many challenges. Stress at home, school, and social life affects all our moods, sometimes so much that we can go from feeling awesome to awful in a matter of minutes.

We get it.

That’s why we’ve created Instrumental, to show you how music—listening, playing, and composing—can help with observing, processing, and understanding your emotional states.

We want to talk about how music can contribute to your overall well-being. On this site, we encourage you to engage with creative expression, learn how your mind responds to music, and take a little time every day to pay attention to how you’re really feeling.

Music holds incredible power over us. We’ve got strategies, playlists and other tools to help you get even more from the music you’re already listening to.

What This Project Isn’t

Instrumental is meant to inform and educate. Although the content has been read over by a team of mental health professionals, it’s by no means meant to replace actual medical and/or psychological help. If you’re experiencing any mental health concerns, reach out to a support line on our Resources page, and be sure to speak to your doctor or an adult you trust to arrange help.

If you need help right now, reach out to Kids Help Phone, which offers confidential crisis support 24/7.

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