It was my first day on the job as a healing artist at Parkview Regional Medical Center and my fist assignment was to sing for patients in the Pediatric Unit. Children and babies. I was escited and nervous at the same time. “Nerve-cited” is the word one of my voice student uses to describe the very combination of feelings.
The first room I visited was a 1 week old, newborn baby with his mother and father. My wife wast a few months pregnant at the time and I just could not imagine how frightening and stressful to have your new baby hospitalized.
I nervously offered music – a lullaby for the baby. They had too much going on to be able to think of a song to sing so I quietly offered You Are My Sunshine.
I had never realized the magnitude of the lyrics and melody of that song. It’s as sad as it is happy but there is a comforting waft of relief when the right song is welcomed into a room. It glows like a gentle sunrise in your chest, arms and right in front of you. Suddenly you feel like you are a giant ember – cooling. I’ve felt it many times as an individual, and through my work as a healing artist I can now feel that warmth build and release in a room with other people. It’s palpable, but that instance and like every time before, I assumed it was just me that felt it. So I strummed my final chord, nervously thanked them and exited the room.
A month later I was surprised to receive a heartfelt message via my Facebook page thanking me for the comfort and peace the music brought to the room. Music had helped turn a stressful life cringing moment into a moment of beauty the family could cherish. For a moment they felt peace in that terrible situation and reading that message gave me that warm glow again.
Music. It does that. Doe is it heal? Maybe not. Maybe it just shines a light on the whatever good is still there – because you can’t really experience sadness without acknowledging your love for what you miss. It’s finding the good that is the healing part because it glows and warms everything around it.
If an artist can make that happen for you – make you feel good on any level, then that very moment, they have become your healing artist. Think of a time music has done that for you. Do you feel the warmth?
“The other night dear as I lay sleeping I dreamt I held you in my arms but when I woke up, I was mistaken. So I hung my head down and cried.”