The other night I was watching a program on television, referred to as the "British Invasion" that featured music and original artists from the 1960s.
I was actually quite surprised by the fact that I knew almost every word to the songs and could easily sing along in tune. Several times, the hits transported me back to my teenage days and I could recall dancing with a certain person or being in a specific place when that tune had been played. These thoughts were once again reminders of how important music is in our lives.
When I have visited in Alzheimer's wards I have often been surprised to listen to people who cannot even remember their loved ones sing verse after verse after verse of old songs that they learned as children. They remember every step in specific dances and sway comfortably when minutes before even just walking had been a problem for them. Their memories have stored the past lyrics and rhythms.
Music can be so powerful. Silly songs bring laughter to the faces of children and adults alike. Songs can bring tears to those who mourn. Music inspires patriotism and kindles romance. It calms the soul and reminds us of values we treasure.
Some people study for years in order to perfect an instrument while others merely pick one up and play by ear. Many open their mouths and release a beautiful voice that leaves those around them speechless.
Sometimes my adult children and grandchildren laugh at the songs or artists that I have playing in my car or office but, as they listen, they usually develop a respect for the music that they are hearing.
You see, music is really about story-telling. The person who writes the songs is just sharing an experience with those who are listening. Sometimes the song is about their faith, or their hurts, or their dreams but, when the story is told with clarity and passion, it affects the teller and the listener in a powerful way.
So often I ask people what relaxes them and often they state that music is one of the things that has brought them pleasure over the years. It might be that they have enjoyed dancing or singing, playing an instrument or just listening to the works of others. Sadly, many of those same people have forgotten to continually bring music into their daily living. They talk about how they "used to" but "don't do that anymore".
I recently attended Grandparent Day at my granddaughter's school and was both surprised and delighted to sing "O Canada" twice in that morning. It had been a long time since I had done that and I wasn't alone. I heard others echo the same thing. I love singing "O Canada" and listening to jazz music, and dancing and singing along to tunes from my teenage years during the "British Invasion".
If you believe in the power of music and are not including it in every single day of your life, you are really missing out.
How about feeding your soul a little today by grabbing your favourite CD, putting it in the nearest player and humming along as you do a few twirls? It will bring a smile to your face, a song to your lips and a joy to your heart.
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From Dr. Linda Hancock, Registered Psychologist and Registered Social Worker