Healing Powers of Music
My support group for women with Stage IV breast cancer met a few days ago; it was a particularly close and poignant meeting as one woman spoke of her progressive disease and her loss of her former "sunny self." We talked about how we care for ourselves, ways to replenish our emotional bank accounts, how we manage on dark days. Thinking about our discussion, I remembered this list that another woman, also living with Stage IV breast cancer, sent to me some months ago. She and I maintain an intermittent conversation, and I am always moved by her thoughtfulness.
This list was stimulated by a talk we had about healing--specifically about the different between healing and curing. She reminded me of the power of music to soothe and comfort and later sent this list of her own favorites. There is powerful medicine in these notes, and I hope that some of you will also share the music you play to heal your heart. As overplayed as it has become (I was especially horrified when I heard it as background for a commercial), one of my favorites is Pachelbel's Canon. Twenty seven years ago, when I was pregnant, I played it daily while I relaxed and then did my Lamaze breathing exercises. When my daughter was 12 and the Canon came on the radio, she yawned and put her head down on the table, saying: "I don't understand it, but that music always makes me so relaxed and sleepy." Music in her soul. What sings in yours?
From my daughter's fiddle teacher (also 1st violinist in Boston Philharmonic)
-One of my favourite all-time works is Händel Water Music (the complete, not just a suite of it). Random others:
-any works of Chopin (I can immerse myself in Chopin, especially with eyes closed.); -Beethoven piano sonatas; -Beethoven quartets; -Bartok Concerto for Orchestra; -Debussy piano works; -Bach Brandenburg Concerti;
- Bach Orchestral Suites;
-Beethoven Symphonies Nos. 2 and 4, of course also Nos. 6 and 8; -Mendelssohn Italian Symphony;....
From a good friend from college:
k.d. lang, esp. Hymns of the 49th Parallel
>>Bach cello suites, esp. played by Matt Haimovitz Beethoven Piano
>>Sonatas Schubert, Trout Quintet Pat Metheny, esp. One Quiet Night Judy
>>Collins Crosby, Stills & Nash Phoebe Snow Yo-Yo Ma Sweet Honey in the
From my yoga teacher:
Joni Mitchell, Laura Nyro and maybe some early Miles Davis, Sarah Vaughn (her Brazilian iinspired album)....
And a cellist friend from yoga who introduced me to Hikare Oe, who I enjoy:
Lorraine Hunt Lieberson singing Bach or Leonard Cohen Songs or any number of Yo Yo Ma collections and selections.
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