The Healing Power of Music (not published)


"A person does not hear sound only through the ears; he hears sound through every pore of his body. It permeates the entire being, and according to its particular influence either slows or quickens the rhythm of the blood circulation; it either wakens or soothes the nervous system.”- Hazrat Inayat Khan 

Every known culture has music. Music seems to be one of the basic activities of humans. There is evidence that prehistoric people played flutes carved from bones.

For thousands of years people have sung and made music together. This created a feeling of connection between people and also connected them to the earth and the rhythms of nature. Music can make us feel happy or sad. Music can soothe us or energise us. Making music is good for our soul. 

Music influences us in many ways. Music also has the ability to strengthen or weaken emotions. We use different music at weddings as opposed to funerals.

In the Bible story King Saul it says: "Whenever the spirit from God came upon Saul, David would take his harp and play. Then relief would come to Saul; he would feel better, and the evil spirit would leave him" (Bible - Samuel 16:23). 

Music helped Thomas Jefferson write the Declaration of Independence. “When he could not figure out the right wording for a certain part, he would play his violin to help him.” (O’Donnell 1999) 

When Albert Einstein was young he did extremely badly in school. His teachers told his parents to take him out of school because he was "too stupid to learn" and it would be a waste of resources for the school to invest time and energy in his education. The school suggested that his parents get Albert an easy, manual labour job as soon as they could. 

Instead of following the school's advice, Albert's parents bought him a violin. Albert became good at playing the violin. Music was the key that helped Albert Einstein become one of the most brilliant thinkers who has ever lived. Einstein himself says that the reason why he came up with his ideas was because he played the violin. He loved the music of Mozart and Bach the most. A friend of Einstein, G.J. Withrow, said that the way Einstein solved problems and equations was by improvising on the violin. (O’Donnell 1999) 

Dave Brubeck and his band were invited to Moscow by Nancy Reagan to provide entertainment at her husband’s arms reduction summit with Mikhail Gorbachev in 1988. Talk hadn’t been going well and the Soviet and American top brass were sitting stiffly in the embassy ballroom when Brubeck and band bowled into ‘Take the A Train’.

Suddenly feet were tapping; smiles broke out; Gorbachov was seen miming a drum solo with his hands; Bob Dole was clapping; so was the solid Russian general next to him. “You get a good beat going and soon people are enjoying it” recalls Brubeck, “and that tune was known round the world”. Brubeck quipped to the press, “I can’t understand Russian, but I can understand body language.” 

“After the concert the mood lightened and the summit became a success”. (Bungrey, J. - Times 2nd December 2010)

Recent scientific research is proving how beneficial listening to music is for us and music is increasingly being used to assist the healing process. (Levitin, D. 2007)

For more information please go to - http://www.simonheather.co.uk/pages/books.php

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