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Music Therapy

“One good thing about music, when it hits you, you feel no pain.”  ― Bob Marley

Music is defined as, “Vocal or instrumental sounds (or both) combined in such a way as to produce beauty of form, harmony, and expression of emotion.” Music in itself is beautiful, but during uncertain times like these, I have come to find some solace in. music. From the legendary Marvin Gaye, to classical compositions by Sebastian Bach and Mozart, to the soothing sounds of Kirk Whalum and the powerful encouragement in the Gospel genre, lately music has been one of my “outs” (Let the record show that Tupac remains in rotation).

The “Shelter at Home” order has affected us all in different ways. While we wat for this pandemic to end, many of us are finding ourselves jumping into old hobbies and searching for new ones. For me, it has been rather easy. I am a musician, began playing the saxophone at the age of 5, have recorded and released 3 albums (available on itunes, google play, and other digital outlets and streaming platforms), and suddenly have the “itch” to record a fourth.

However, I am looking at the fact that the saxophone literally helped me with some anxiety a couple weeks ago. Being a senior pastor the last few weeks have been unprecedented. So many changes, literally weekly have caused us to experience some anxieties that many of us have ever experienced. The restaurants are closed, ALL of my gyms are closed, and so are the movie theaters. However, a couple weeks ago while doing a Bible study, my soprano saxophone caught my attention.

I closed the Bible and started playing.. What started as a 5-10 minute shed evolved into hours of playing, worshipping, and improvising. I literally broke a sweat, and in the process wrote a song! Isn’t that amazing? The fact that something great was birth in the midst of all this uncertainty. I left that moment completely in awe, and then it occurred to me…

Music was a conduit to the healing of my mind in that moment. Running through key changes, improvising and playing alone with previously recorded music, and then creating. Music can serve as an agent for providing peace in the midst of altered perspective. Music can speak in a way that cause you to tune out the voices that would normally cause chaos. Music is that powerful.

If you’re not a musician, who is your favorite artist? What is your favorite song? How about your favorite genre? When was the last time that you turned off the television and just immersed yourself into your favorite album? Here’s the challenge, the next time you feel overwhelmed, the next time you’re in a “funk”, I dare you to put on your favorite album and turn the volume up! Let the bass line drive you and get lost in the melody. As for me? I’m about to pour myself into these saxophones and see what this music therapy will create!

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