Friday, March 27, 2009

More healing music

ELW 871:
Sing praise to God, the highest good, the author of creation!
O God of love, you understood our need for your salvation.
With healing balm our souls you fill;
All our lament with peace you still.
To God all praise and glory!

There's a strain of "new age" thinking that posits when you are thinking of something the universe responds with an answer, and there are pyschologists who say it's simply a matter of heightened awareness of things that were already there. Either way, I'm still hearing and reading more about the healing effects of music.

First, this study purports to find a link between listening to favorite songs and stroke recovery and therapy. It reminds me a bit of the "Mozart effect" (about which I think most scientists have become quite skeptical of any major effects). But there remains a fascination and ongoing study of a certain je ne sais quoi that lies embedded in the power of music. We may not be able to quantify it, but our mood and our health seem improved when we listen and sing music we love.

Also, I received a program in the mail today from my grandmother. Her 50-voice choir (all senior citizens) recently performed a Broadway tribute concert. I'm sure they all had a great time singing well-known tunes with friends, and I wish I could have heard them. She'll be turning 80 this year, and she and my grandfather (and my other grandmother who also turns 80 this fall) continue to amaze me with their health and vitality - playing golf, biking 10 miles at a time, travelling, going to church, and singing! I wouldn't say music is central to their lives, but it certainly has a place.

Music has an almost infinite variety, and it seems like everyone has some tune that enlivens their soul. Joanne shared a beautiful story in response to my previous post about the power of music. It's something to think about - what tune gives you the greatest sense of healing - is it something calming and soothing in a time of struggle or something energetic and lively to get your foot tapping?

1 comment:

  1. Dad, again. My sudents at NDSU are required to attend a Powwow this month. A central part of these is the prayers for healing, and many of the dancers intend their efforts as supplications for divine interference on somone's behalf. You could find many testimonials that these things happen and are sometimes effective in almost all religions.