Music as a Pathway to Healing
As we journey through this life, we are often given points when we take stock of our journey. Those times can be triggered by births and deaths, usually as family dynamics change. Perhaps less intense are the job changes, moving house, or children leaving home, but regardless of the source, we think in the moment, and we think in the whole picture. Rarely do we take small, meaningful sights and sounds and create a space in our hearts and bodies for the less significant, less intense gifts that have uplifted us in times of distress or soothed our soul when we question the role we are playing in our own lives. Bypassing small personal, intimate moments devalues the simple yet joyous gifts we have been given.
I was gifted with the opportunity to absorb music into my life, from early childhood. My parents insisted on music lessons at home, despite having the ability to learn at school. My teacher was a struggling jazz musician in his other life, but he insisted on teaching us the classics. For ten years we had the opportunity to learn and even perform in our small community. When I look at my love of music today, I can feel the wonderful but intense pathway of playing and practicing endlessly which helped to instill the love of music.
Even more divine, was the gift of living close to older generations, enabling me and my siblings to enjoy music dating from the roaring 20’s onward through five generations. Family parties often blared with the sounds of the Caribbean. Friday night poker games with my grandfather sitting around a table with his cronies were permeated by the sounds of big bands like Glen Miller, harmony groups or Sinatra in the background. The rock generation left an indelible mark in our lives and the era of the Beatles brought more change. What I discovered was an endless doorway to recollections through the path of music. Identifying a song with a time or place can open doors with memories full of laughter, grief, thought, and eventually, healing.
From this source, I chose to find and express spirituality for myself and others. Building a ministry of my own was a challenge but I believed in the power of music. After choosing these few words with a positive meaning: Hope, Create, Imagine, Dream, and Believe: I knew I could search and download any number of songs carrying the strength of those words in the verses. One hour of quiet meditation, music, and breathwork allowed those who joined our services to find their own pathway to healing.
While I have journeyed and seen many ups and downs, both major and minor, I am always grateful for music appreciation, instilled in me early, as one of life’s greatest ‘small’ moments. It is for this gift, on my life journey, that I give the greatest thanks.
Rev. Judith Andrade