Flipping through old blogposts, I realise that I haven’t shared any practical teaching moments in a while. I am sitting in one of my satellite offices (read – coffee shop) writing this morning and I am doing some planning so I will include useful practical blogposts. But for now, an observation on the ground that has been proven in studies world wide. Making music in community is medicine.
Last week I wrote about the value of alone time and of singing in solitude. Then I dropped into a week where I witnessed all of the following, most of it fresh this week, but some of it a little older: cancer diagnosis, broken marriage, the death of a son-in-law, the discovery of a partner’s unfaithfulness, the anniversary of the passing of a child, intense loneliness, the unexpected loss of a long-held job, a minor stroke, the death of a young husband, chronic pain and a long wait for surgery.
My people – you come together in these groups and sing. You may not talk with anyone or share your pain out loud but your voice in the mix of sound is valuable. And through the process of gathering and vocalising, healing can happen, and it does.
Music can’t make whatever you’re facing go away, most of the time. But it can help your heart. And for a time, while you are creating that sound and vibration with the people around you, it can make the pain go away. It can help you keep breathing, keep going. There are many articles online and elsewhere talking about this – here’s just one.
If you are a part of any of the groups I facilitate, if you are part of my world, please know that if you need to sit in silence and let the sound wash over you, you are welcome to do that. If you need to sing through tears, you are welcome to do that. If you need to sing a little louder than usual and maybe even off-key a bit, you are welcome to do that. You are not alone, and in joining voices we are joining forces – even if you don’t choose to share or confide in your song-mates. There is power in the song and you are valued.
Let’s continue to prove the science right – over and over and over. “I have a therapist – her name is music”.
Shine on, friends, even if your flame feels small right now, it’s still light in a world that can sometimes seem dark.