Healing Power of Music
Music is a beautiful thing. I was raised to love music, appreciate music, and to play music. My favorite memories of my childhood always include music. Mom and dad had a wide variety of records, the radio was always playing, camping always included my dad and his harmonica. Mom and dad made sure any of us kids that wanted music lessons, got them. Looking back, I know this was a sacrifice as we were not a wealthy family. Every week, Mom would take us to Mr. Henchel’s (sp?) house for lessons. I have good memories of the experience except when I did not practice. Mr. Henchel would get down right pissy! This happened a lot. 😦 The memory of the lessons is one thing, but my favorite part was just spending time in the car with my mom. We didn’t get out much so this car ride to Salem, and the occasion stop at Arctic Circle afterwards are part of why it is a cherished memory for me. Later, when I took up the clarinet, I took practicing serious and became quite good. I loved band class and made many good friends there. Friends I still have to this day.
I was lucky enough to meet my LL at a young age. Our older brothers were friends, but LL and I actually met while on a band field trip. I think I was in 6th grade, he was in seventh. He says I was a snob, I say he was the most irritating clown around. 🙂 Our relationship started with music, and like my parents, while raising our kids, music was an extremely important element in our life. Music was always on, always talked about, always being created, by LL and I, and then eventually our children.
Music helps develop the brain during a child’s development. Math and reading improves. But Music is also healing. When Max was small, along with physical, occupational, and speech therapy…..music therapy was part of his intense early educational programs. Hospice often bring in musicians when someone requests it. Music helps someone with pain, and the fear that goes along with the end of life. I can personally attest to the help music gave me while sick with chemo and especially when dealing with intense pain from cancer and surgeries. I had my music in the hospital, and later at home, constantly lifting me up when nothing else seemed to help.
I don’t play my instruments often any more. I can play piano and clarinet. It makes me a little sad that I don’t take the time to play. I am thinking this would be a good winter to start back up. One area of music I have never tried is songwriting. LL has written beautiful songs. One is actually on a c.d. along with other Christian singers. He has recorded a couple other songs. I have witnessed how much his songwriting has enriched his life. Music, I think is a tool God uses to reach us, speak to us, and sometimes heal us.
This morning, while reading the paper, I came across this article in the New York Times…..Songwriting with soldiers….I love this program and have no doubt it is changing lives.