Friday, February 8, 2013

Why Music??? part 2 Music and Songwriting

Thanks for visiting topics and conversations. Here I want to address music therapy issues and concepts as they relate to education, health and wellness. 

This is part two of three posts where I will describe music therapy interactions I've had that are indicative of why music is so meaningful, enriching and sometimes life changing!

Last week I had a very moving visit with an 85 yr old gentleman Jerry and his wife Sonya. Jerry has Alzheimer's, and at the beginning of our music therapy sessions he always starts to recite an original poem he had written fairly recently, i.e., the last four yrs or so. Jerry has written many poems over the years. As a writing/self expression project when I first met him last year, I put music to his poem and recorded it for him and his family (gave it to them on a CD). As I mentioned, he has always written poems and has said a dream of his has been to hear his poetry set to music. Due to his condition he can not remember that I wrote music and recorded his poem and at the beginning of each session he starts reciting this poem, not remembering that I've heard it and that we've worked with this poem. As a recent routine upon visiting, I set my laptop on his lap and play the finished song for him to hear and enjoy (the family does not have a CD player at this time). When he heard it this day he immediately cried because he was hearing his poetry set to music. And because of his memory loss, when we do this, it's like him hearing it for the first time. He becomes overjoyed hearing his poem set to music. He then (again) always reports that he has "always wanted his poems put to music..."

So, "Why music??"... to actively engage in self expression and the arts of which individuals and families have participated in over the years. Also, to involve cognitively challenged individuals with deficits such as Alzheimer's disease, in productive endeavors, helping them experience competence, success and joy.

In upcoming posts I will continue with “why music???” as I describe other music therapy experiences that are indicative of why music is so meaningful, enriching and life changing.

My prescription this week??? Express yourself... Write a poem, journal entry... a song... And again, listen to YOUR favorite music and enjoy!!!!

I want to let everyone know that my new site:, still very new, is in the process of producing more offerings. Right now there are three offerings, i.e., two music albums available, David's Basics in Education and Lyrical Imagery and one educational lecture titled The Purposeful Use of Music From Pregnancy Through Toddlerhood (including Labor and Delivery). The second album, Lyrical Imagery, and the childbirth lecture are a free download for a limited time.
As a reminder the main thrust of the music therapy/childbirth lecture is to support moms (and dads) as they put together their own music listening playlists or CDs to support rhythmic breathing, act as a positive diversion from pain and stress, etc., to be used during labor and delivery.

AND!!!! Please share with others, like us on Facebook  and follow us on Twitter ... Thanks