Music for life

Martin Luther wrote, "next to theology, I accord music the highest honor." Or words to that effect.  Wiki Luther Music

Music is a language that needs no study, only enjoyment. Study it if you wish, many do. Just remember, you don't need to make music to be musical. Valuing the music and it's effects upon your mood, attitude, and overall health is my promotion for the moment.

In Musicophilia, Sacks wrote,

Music can take you to places you have never been before, wish to go to, wish to avoid, and help you navigate all of them. It is rhythmical geography for the soul. When it comes to the end of a cherished life, it is a memory restorer/curator, sort of like a musical picture album for the mind.

I played music this week for dozens of people. It is almost always affirmed by a smile, a nod of recognition, joining in and singing with the tune, a reminder of other songs, a piece of history that seems long lost. Music resurrects the life or a slice of it long assumed dead. It can bring back joy and courage and resilience, even healing when it is properly used.

A while back, I entered a room of a client and began to play hymns softly on my harmonica. I routinely do this and my charges are not surprised or bothered by it. They just know that pastor Marty has his harmonica in his left hand and he will likely play me a tune or two. As I played This is My Father's World, my client began to sing the words of the light and airy hymn. Her mood improved and her day was brighter. The nurse and others in the room were somewhat surprised because they had not seen this side of the client, the memories of a hymn that came flowing from her mouth so easily. I think it was a bit of a shock actually. It was assumed that there was not much left of her mind, nothing reserved for lucid speech anyhow. It even surprised me a little bit.

It has pushed me to research more and play more music. To be able to see family members smile as their loved one sings along when they thought all that has been lost, is a magical moment. A restorative moment. A healing moment. A hopeful moment. A musical moment.

On occasion, I have played music and within seconds of conclusion, the loved one goes to sleep for the last time. When family is present, this is often the most peaceful memory they could wish for. It stuns me how this happens, but then I remember the power that music has to bring one close to God and thankful for life on earth and prepared for life hereafter.

A lot of communication goes on when music is involved.