As the saying goes, ‘music tames the savage beast,’ but what beast are we talking about – anger, despair, feelings of helplessness and hopelessness or a particularly big one that deals with a neglected and hungry immune system.
There’s a story by Bernie Siegel, famed cancer surgeon, author and lecturer, that goes as follows (paraphrased):
- There was a young man who loved playing the violin so much he wanted to make this his career. His family had other plans in mind for him, though, and wanted him to become lawyer. Not wanting to disappoint them, he did as they wished. Some years later, he was diagnosed with an inoperable brain tumor and given a year to live during which time he played the violin. At the end of the year, his tumor was gone.
Engaging in music allows us the opportunity to be so completely absorbed in its rapture that we open ourselves up and let out that which does not serve us while bringing in that which does creating a space in which the music can come in and do its healing.
In the above story, the man involved played for his own pleasure but any form of music by any group of persons can be utilized for the purpose of healing. Group musical therapy is particularly helpful as those involved not only perform to bring forth what they need but they can help others who might not be at the stage of doing that for themselves.
Now, can we picture singers and performers in parks, subways, hospitals, retirement and nursing homes, people standing in long, slow moving lines while imagining all those feel good music bugs jumping from one person to another latching on and providing untold benefits to all willing to receive.