It has been 25 years since the movie “Sister Act” came out. Yes. That long ago. I had no idea until I happened to watch “The View” today. I usually don’t watch television, but was really happy I caught the show. Listening to the choir reunion made me smile, and brought me back to how I felt originally when I first saw the movie as a kid. I had a flood of memories in an instant – at that age I was originally a happy child but was having difficulties at school, had just moved, and my family was experiencing a tremendous loss. Now that I think of it, it was a difficult time. This movie, still one of my favourites, uplifted me through its music and message. I identified with this movie – I felt alone in my new environment and wasn’t sure how to fit in. Music and singing helped me process this difficult time, as it still does.
Music is a universal language. Regardless of your age, gender, orientation, race, etc. we all have a love for music. Some read music, some compose it, some sing from their heart, some beat together pots and pans, some create music electronically – it’s all music. No matter the medium or the delivery, it’s all music. That’s what makes it beautiful and cathartic. Music is a way for us to express in a safe way. When most people feel apprehensive about expressing their feelings, but they will happily join in a group singing a well known song (I call it the “bar effect” – put on any well known song in a bar and people will belt it out without qualms about their pitch and sound). And after you sing you feel relief. You feel a sense of belonging with the group you are singing with. You feel a rush of adrenalin followed by elation and improved mood. It is therapeutic. Hence, music is wonderful therapeutic tool for people to use.
Music heals. Many musicians use music as their healing tool. Listen to their songs, their lyrics, their tone. It’s them pouring their heart out, expressing their feelings in rhythm and key for all to know. And when they, or their music, is received positively then they feel like they belong, that they are heard, and they start to heal. Musicians sometimes are the most broken and vulnerable, which makes their music beautiful and relatable. Some heal through song, some spiral further into darkness. Hopeful those whom need more treatment will recognize it, receive it, and convey their journey through song.
Music brings us together, it evokes a sense of belonging, a feeling of community. That’s what community is – communication between others creating a sense of connection. Through music we express our emotions, we communicate and connect. The next time you feel your mood is lowered, or you feel like you don’t belong, use music. Dance around the house to your favourite song, shout out and sing, play or make an instrument, or remember the feeling you felt when you sang/danced to music as a child. Music elicits your amygdala and engages your emotional memory – with the hum of a bar you can instantly get a jolt of happy mood elevating endorphins, similar to what you experienced when you first heard the song (the opposite is true too, if you hear a song that you used to help your through a tough time you can relive that memory too). We can learn music and learn through music. We feel music in everyway – physically (rhythm and base), emotionally (tune and pitch), and mentally (lyrics and hidden meaning behind songs). Hence, music can be used to help heal one or all of these aspects that make up our whole self. It helps change our resonance, soothe “dis-ease”, and evoke healing. It is gentle, yet powerful, therapy. Think of how easily a tune can stick in your head and change your mood for an entirely – the power of notes and words. I think I’m going to start singing my affirmations…. give them that much more healing power.
“I will follow…. will follow… will follow”………………………………………………