My aunt listened to blues, country, jazz, classical, opera, r&b, rock, etc. You would never know what you would hear coming from the kitchen. One day, I walked into her room and she was listening to Madame Butterfly. I knew it sounded beautiful but I had no idea want was going on. She explained the story. She explained the power of listening to opera because it moves you to listen to the emotion of the song, of the story and of the singer. We sat and just listened. It was refreshing. It was soothing and it opened my ears to a different way of listening to music.
After this moment with my aunt, Music became a healer. I learned to sit and listen to music. I've learned to embrace the emotion of a song and allow it to touch my soul. A song can help me to connect to a feeling and we connect on a physiological level as well. Our bodies actually try to match the rhythms we hear and music regulates some body functions.
Researchers at Colorado State University in Fort Collins found that stroke victims and people with Parkinson's disease walked more steadily and with better balance and speed if they practiced while hearing a steady metronome beat or a piece of music with a strong, even rhythm. "Rhythm has a powerful, organizing effect on motor skills," says Michael H. Thaut, PhD, director of the university's Center for Biomedical Research in Music. "It helps synchronize movement almost immediately."
For me, I connected with Prince at a very early age. I can easily find a Prince song that connects with my spirit. His music makes me smile and happy 50th Rude Boy!
Erykah Badu's music also soothes my soul. I've actually cried at shows from being so moved and connected.
Later, on this blog and on the CWUW website, we will talk more extensively about the research behind Music Therapy. I wanted each of you think about how music has helped in your healing and encourage surrounding yourself with healing sounds and beautiful music.