It was a dark night. I was feeling detached and tired as I listened again to my still small voice within; it said,” Go in and sing with her”. I picked up my guitar and songbook, and went in and asked her if we could sing together. Her answer was an affirmative “yes”, though I knew she was shy and embarrassed about her own singing voice because in growing up her family had poked fun at her singing voice.
Nonetheless, I started with a rendition of “When the Saints Go Marching In”. She had shared that that song was the last song in a funeral orchestration that her best friend had put together for her own last rites. That song was heartily sung by everyone in the service, sending her friend rousingly into eternity. I was moved by that story recounted to me by her and her other friend when they returned from the service.
After that song I followed it with a song I had written specifically for Nancy called “Nancy’s Song”. She loved it and I sang a few more songs out of my songbook with her. All her agitation and moodiness (she has dementia) melted like butter with the music. After a few songs she began to talk about experiences with her family growing up, and I recounted experiences with my family, growing up in Detroit. It was heart to heart conversation. It was truly breakthrough in relationship at least for the moment.
This story and experience illustrates what music is to me. First it is a tool I use to free myself from my logical, left brain. Music can often free us emotionally and from stress. I believe that music is both an avenue from and to divine spirit or consciousness. I don’t limit this to one particular religion. Lastly, I believe music connects us to our own deeper self, to each other, and to Source or to God. This is what music is to me.
This is what I love, my passion. What is your passion?