Sabbatical Series: Music’s Magic Healing Place

It has always been true that the world has a way of catching us off guard. Many of us like to think we have our life in control. Especially if we were fortunate enough to be born into a comfortable middle-class family, we have been taught to work hard and life will reward you. Pestilence, natural disasters, and war intervene, toppling our achievements.

In the midst of what is happening, we all need hope! Sharing words of hope and encouragement is going to be my focus as I take a sabbatical from new posts for a short while and reach back to republish some of my prior writings.

Music’s Magic Healing Place

When my children were little, we always had lots of music in our home. One of my adult daughters recently reminded me of one of those times. She said she remembered watching me play a lively upbeat pop tune on piano and sing words about putting a nickel into something called a nickelodeon. She told me that, as a small child, she was amazed at how fast my fingers flew over the keyboard and wondered if she could ever learn to play that way. Well . . . she certainly did! She became a proficient musician on the piano, organ, flute, and with her voice. I am delighted to say she surpassed the skills of her mom.

Music has remained a cornerstone of my own psychological well-being and also that of my two daughters, and my son. It is now being passed along to their children. An example of how music can transport us from our too-frequent anxieties to a place of calmness happened to me just a few days ago.

I was feeling rather uneasy about a large remodeling project I had just undertaken. I remembered the name of the piano piece my daughter had told me about. Since neither of us had the original music score, I went in online to find it. I bought the right to download and print two copies of what she and I called “Put Another Nickle in the Nickelodeon.” Actually that is the subtitle for “Music! Music! Music!” written by Stephen Weiss and Bernie Baum and popularized by singer Teresa Brewer.

When I sat down on the piano bench to play the piece for the first time in many years, to my surprise, my fingers remembered where to bounce along on the keyboard. And stress flowed out of my body as I focused on playing the music.

Music can be a powerful source of healing. If you are suffering, as most of us are, from coronavirus fatigue—either having experienced COVID-19 yourself or being impacted by it—may I suggest, “Give music a chance to heal you.”

Listen to whatever type of music lifts your spirits. Better still, pull out an instrument from your closet. Or use your piano for more than a ledge to fill with home decorations. How about lifting your voice in any song that makes you feel happy? Break out in dance if you choose. At least move to the rhythm of the beat. Music can provide the joy to help you reach beyond the shadows of anxiety, depression, and defeat into a place of light, calmness, and hope. The songs you choose are worth more than a nickel. Their worth might prove to be priceless to you.

Lifting Spirits Through Song
An Essay by Connie Carlisle Polley, 2021-2022

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