We all know this: music heals. And it enthralls.
We know this from our own experience of the boost we feel after belting out a song in the shower or in the car. And when we witness someone else’s musical foray, we often smile empathetically. We recognize that joy, that comfort.
We humans spend countless hours listening and bopping to others making music and notice how music magically transforms our mood, ratifying or refreshing our perspective. It is truly miraculous, if you think about it, that a mere aural stimulus or vibration totally rocks our world.
Yes, I have a profound appreciation for music and musicians who have infused my life with priceless beauty, inspiration and joy. Music is a friend, a solace, an incentive. It transports us. It’s transformative.
I’ve been reminded of this truth over the past few days as I’ve been listening to all kinds of music, searching for inspiration for some choreography. As always, I’m blown away by the feast of delicious choices, even as I’ve tried to narrow sharply my potential candidates so I won’t get completely overwhelmed.
Just in the past day I’ve lapped up a French-inflected Toots Thielemans piece, Beirut’s romantic “Transatlantique,” some classic Billie Holiday, wistful Neil Young, summery Beach Boys, luscious Les Nubians, cool Big Voyage (Cora Pearl), and new for me, some opera….
And the list goes on. Just like the beat.
Which is why I was so moved by learning recently about an amazing program, Jail Guitar Doors, with its mission to bring music and musical instruments to prison inmates in the US and UK. Wow. What a powerful, beautiful testament to the prodigious, healing power of music.
Same for the peace building, music-based efforts sprouting up around the globe, forging new bonds of understanding through the common language of music and the common experience of the vitality induced by music. These endeavors offer such hope.
So, to all the musicians out there, including the shower-singers: rock on! The world needs our voices and instruments raised in song, now more than ever.