Posts Tagged "Music Therapy"

The (Music) Doctor is In!

Posted by on Nov 17, 2015 in Blog, Home Is Where The Story Starts |

The (Music) Doctor is In!

  Everyone has their own way of doing therapy. At least everyone should! For some people it is exercise or team sports. Not me. For some people it is shopping! That’s not me either. Some people cook and eat. Yes, I am probably guilty of that, but that is a different blog. Some people read. Check. Some people use music. . . Bingo! That is me.   When I get frustrated or sad, the best (nonfattening) way I can deal with it is to sit at the piano and play. I’ll pull out a classical book and play a few simple pieces. I’ll play through a book one piano teacher insisted I buy if I wanted to take lessons from her. I resisted, but those pieces speak to me. I pound out the hymns in the hymn book that express God’s might and power. Sometimes, I pull out hymn arrangement books and play pieces I learned in the past.   My mom said she could tell what mood I was in by how I played the piano. It is my best therapy. I love playing for church. I am not the most talented or accomplished pianist, but I have developed a unique style over the years. I play a lot by ear, but can read notes. I use a lot of broken cords in my accompaniment and I like to alternate octaves to add variety.  There is probably a technical term for how I play, but I don’t know it.   Before I was married, our church in South Dakota hosted a Singspiration for area churches every few months. Often a young girl would come up and ask me if I could show her how to play like I do. I was always at a loss. It is just how I play. I did eventually figure out the broken chord thing and I would share that with her. Hopefully, it was helpful.   This started me wondering. How did I get this style? Where did it come from?   The other day, I sat down to play. I felt like playing some of the hymn arrangements I have learned over the years so I pulled the first book out of the pile. Wow! It had been years since I first played from that book, nondescript cover, worn by years of use. Then it hit me. This was the first real live hymn arrangement book I ever used.   I remembered how daunting the pieces seemed when I first opened the book. They were way beyond my ability. But, taking on the challenge I learned the pieces measure by measure, line by line, until I knew it. If a section was just too over the top difficult, I made up my own little arrangement using a similar style to the rest of the piece. I improvised. I started playing through it, piece after piece. My fingers stumbled in spots that I once played by heart. It had been too long. But,...

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How Sweet The Sound!

Posted by on Oct 26, 2015 in Blog, Home Is Where The Story Starts | 4 comments

How Sweet The Sound!

It is a well-known fact that I am a hummer. (Not to be confused with a humdinger or the vehicle by that name, please.) The truth is I am almost always humming something. It is a humming habit. I don’t know where it came from; it has been a part of ME as long as I remember.   In addition to humming, I also am known for the ability to think of a song lyric for every situation. For instance, if I am having a difficult day, I might burst into song with “Smile, though your heart is breaking, smile, even if your faking. “ Yes, sometimes I change the lyrics. As I woke up this morning I thought of my trip to this beautiful mountain home in Boone where I am enjoying a writer’s retreat with friends. It was Saturday night. I had already been to Newberry, SC with my husband for Oktoberfest, then back home where I gathered up my things and jumped back in the car.   By the time I arrived in the Boone area it was dark. Pitch dark. My GPS failed me, not even recognizing the name of the road. But, I was confident. After all, we lived near here for a year and I drove this road back and forth to work many times. All I had to do was find the intersection.   Well, let’s just say that after several tries I was inordinately relieved to find an email from one of my friends with a phone number to call if I needed anything. So, I phoned a friend.   Deanna talked me in and when I couldn’t find the keypad to get into the gated community (we decided they made it impossible to find in the dark so those who don’t belong can’t get in—that’s my story and I’m sticking to it) Glenda drove down and let me through the gate. We laughed about “how many writers does it take to get into a gated community”?   But, this morning as I remembered this episode, a single line from a song drifted through my head. “I’ll be on your side forever more. . . That’s what friends are for. “ I smiled. Then, I thought of yesterday at our church in the mountains. When the choir sang an arrangement of “All The Way My Savior Leads Me,” I sat with my eyes shut and let the words wash over me. This is one of my favorite hymns and one particular line has comforted us more than once.   “For I know what e’er befall me, Jesus doeth all things well.”   I thought of my Daddy. Since June he has suffered two strokes. He is still alert, oriented, moves all of his extremities well, able to care for himself, but weak. And, he can’t talk. Oh, he gets a few words out. Sometimes an entire sentence pops out. But it is hard work. And frustrating. But, one of his first...

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