We all feel a strong connection to music, but have you considered that music and sound are the world’s oldest medicines? Ancient healers used music to cure illness and help people regain spiritual balance. Music continues to play a key role in healing – let’s look at three examples:
FIRST, Music alleviates physical, mental and emotional suffering – Music can calm anxiety, ease pain and provide a pleasant diversion during chemotherapy or a hospital stay. Patients who listened to music before a procedure had a reduced need for sedatives. Those who listened to music in the recovery room lowered the use of opioid painkillers.
Music therapy improves symptoms and social functioning among schizophrenics, and music helps the human brain afflicted with Alzheimer’s disease and dementia. The local Palladium concert hall here in Carmel, IN has a wonderful program called “Perfect Harmony” that brings cognitive, emotional and social skill benefits through client’s intentional engagement with music.
SECOND, Music Aids Grief and Grieving
The night my mother died, a nurse brought in a small radio tuned to quiet classical music and placed it on the pillows near her ears; she knew that our sense of hearing is the last to go when we are dying. The music soothed us both, as I held my mom’s hand, whispered in her ear, thanking her for being my wonderful mom, and her breathing gradually stopped.
There are special choirs, called Threshold Choirs, (we have one in Indy) whose purpose is to sing “lullabies to the ill and dying” to bring comfort and peace. They use a special collection of songs written just for them as their song book. I love the Choir’s motto: “Kindness made audible.”
THIRD, Music Builds Community
At many churches in our area, we are fortunate to have wonderful bands of musicians who are a central part of every service. Research shows that music builds social connection and brings people closer together; it offsets the isolation that can be a part of growing old, and provides a feeling of unity and companionship. Music fellowship is good for our health!… So in honor of all musicians, please join me in reading this prayer…
a special “Prayer for Musicians…
Oh, Lord, please bless this music that it might glorify your Presence.
May the talent that you have bestowed upon me be used only to serve You.
Let this music be a witness to your majesty and love, and
remind us that You are with us in song, and in quiet.
May your loving grace and beauty be found in every note,
and may the words that are sung reach our hearts so we
will draw closer to You.
May Your Spirit guide us through every measure so that
we might be the instruments of your peace, and our music
transform our minds, heal our bodies and expand our hearts.