Music is medicine for the soul. It’s been a part of my life from prenatal to the present. My mother had a beautiful voice and won the Atwater Kent Award Contest as Miss New Orleans and went on to win Miss South. It was a talent contest and I even have a picture of her at the White House with President Hoover. She was a beautiful person inside and out and sang from her soul. My dad used to say she sang with a tear in her voice. Some of my favorite memories, as a child, are the family driving to New Orleans and singing all the way. Of course, if it was the Christmas season, we sang all the carols. But we had music in our home daily. If mom wasn’t playing the piano, the turn table or radio was on with music playing. I remember listening to music and smelling spaghetti sauce cooking (she was Italian and made the meatballs with beef, pork and veal, they were delicious!). My brother, sister and I were so fortunate. Our home was filled with love, music, food and warmth. We were far from rich monetarily, but very rich in lessons of life. We were allowed to be children but were taught responsibility by doing chores.
Music has gone down through the generations and I now have two great nephews who are making their name in the music field - Joshua Smith and Matt Sanders, you can find them on facebook.
As a therapist, I have noticed through the years that people who are depressed hardly ever have music in their lives. I wish I had kept statistics on it when I worked in-patient. I always encourage clients to not only listen to music, but to dance to it also. I try to dance every day. It’s excellent exercise and elevates the serotonin and dopamine in our brain. It’s great for depression.
When I was in High School and college, when one “went steady” and every couple had “their song”, it was like recording your life through music. And even now when I hear a song, and think about where I was the first time I heard it and friends I was with at that time, it always brings back wonderful memories.
I love when my sister and I visit my brother and sister-in-law… I really consider her to be my sister… we play cds and sit and talk… it’s beautiful! The music, love, warmth and yes, the food, brings “ home” back.
So please, take some time for music. Turn on your radio, get out your old cd’s and play them. Bring some joy back to your soul and I really hope you’ll give dancing a try… who knows… you may really love it!
Toni True-Wills, Ph.D.