Music is a spiritual experience. I love music in all of its forms. I grew up being serenaded by parents harmonizing everything from the Phi Gam fight song to Peter, Paul and Mary.
After crucifying the clarinet, I played the piano until my late teens. I have fond memories of trips to the city for musicals, plays, operas, and the symphony. The music spoke to me then and it still does today.
Music has the power to transport. As those few notes begin, a magic door to a melodic time machine opens. In the time it takes for the average song to play, I have relived all of my freshman year. At a time when we are relegated to living at home, music provides an escape worthy of a four-star review. Maybe even five.
I may be unable to tell you where I put my keys, but I can tell you the song I had my first slow dance to: “Open Arms” by Journey.
I use specialized playlists to address pain, anxiety, and sadness. I notice both a psychological and a physiological shift when I listen to them. I have trained myself to use music much as I would use guided imagery. Instead of images, I use the notes of the song.
When I am in pain, I play light classical music or ambient noise such as ocean waves or rain. I have found these soothing sounds to help my anxiety as well.
A recent spike in my anxiety led me to create a playlist with notes conducive to quieting my mind. I do that by soothing my body. Doing this has illuminated the mind-body connection. I have yet to find a prescription as potent.
Multiple sclerosis has had a profound effect on my fingers. My right hand has more difficulty with dexterity. Playing the piano helps move them in a repetitive motion. Creating music is a lovely benefit. Expressing my emotions through my choice in music is cathartic.
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