Music, is it the element we have forgotten that can heal us? Do we realize the potential that music has in bringing family together, connecting with our children and using it to bring harmony to our lives?
I had forgotten. And it took having a special guest on my radio show to remind me. And for that I am grateful! It is funny how these things come together.
My guest, Bill Protzmann, a Practical Heart Skills Advisor at Music Care, Inc. shared insights about the power of music that humans can apply in various ways to heal, connect, feel, and release. While I was especially interested in how families can use music to develop deeper bonds and be empowered, I also took away remembrances and reflections about music that spoke to me in my life.
I was taken back to my younger years, when as a family we would gather around the piano and my mother would play songs that we all sang together. I especially remember songs like My Darling Clementine and On Top of Old Smokey. It was a time that bonded us together.
I recalled the period in my life that I played guitar. It started out as a way to gather with my high school friends and then as a musician for our teen service at church. Then life changed, and along came kids and my guitar was put aside. At times I would yearn to play it but alas, I made no effort to revive it.
And then there was the music my son, Ben played and liked. After his death, his friends made a playlist of his favorite songs and every time one of those songs came on the radio, I felt a connection. I even play those songs still to feel close to him. They are bittersweet in bringing up emotions of sadness as well as the joy of the blessing he was in my life.
In more recent days, I watch my 15 month old granddaughter experience music. She perks up with smiles when music is played, she loves listening to the Wiggles, but only if they are singing or playing music. She has an innate need to bang on every surface with either her hands (drumming already) or any item available. I have learned from her to reconnect to music and to allow it to take me to that land of fun, play and possibility. Music is inherent for us as humans and to ignore it, is to neglect an element that by design enhances our life and living on this planet.
As I continue this reflection, I am reminded of the many other places that music has touched me.
Who hasn't been drawn into a movie more just by the music score? What feelings come up as you hear the music score to Jaws, Star Wars, of even Sound of Music? Ever notice the music played at the doctor's office, is it meant to soothe the patients? What effect does music have during church services or even memorial or funeral services? When you attend a concert of your favorite band, do you feel bonded to the other people attending the concert? Music connects us to our emotions and to one another. And...
...that was Bill's point on the radio show. We can use music to connect to our emotions and even use it as a safe way of expressing what we are feeling.
I used to have judgments about various kinds of music; like Heavy Metal was bad and full of anger. My fear was that if one listened to that music, it would increase their anger. What Bill showed me was that for some people, listening to music like that may actually allow them a safe place to feel emotions that they aren't able to express in person. It may even calm them and allow them to be happy. So who am I to judge!? I also became aware of my own issues with being able to express and be with anger. And now I have some exploring to do to on my own. We all have the music that speaks to us and what a variety of music for us to experience and play with!
Back to the family and how music can bring harmony. A smart parent will see that music can be a segue to learning more about how your kids are feeling and handling life. As a family you can use music to come together and experience each other through the way that each of you play music. Playing music together can empower every member of the family. Each member is allowed to create their own rhythm and not be judged for it., and even have the other members of the family follow along. So much wellness can be gained from music. And it can start very simply with just listening, dancing, singing and playing along with the music in your life.
Tune into the podcast replay of Does Your Music Do This? and learn more tips and ideas for bringing more music into your life as a means to empower yourself and your children.
Additional resources to learn more about the value of music in our lives:
Bill Protzmann's Music Care Quest to explore your journey with music.
Claudius Conrad, a Surgeon, Explores the Role of Music in Healing - The New York Times
ALIVE INSIDE is a joyous cinematic exploration of music’s capacity to reawaken our souls and uncover the deepest parts of our humanity.
Bela Fleck Through Down Your Heart- 2008 Movie
Mary shares her desire to create different possibilities for families and individuals who are looking to live a more conscious and aware lifestyle. BE YOU Parenting is for parents who want to BE all that they truly BE and to allow their kids the same privilege.