I'm Spiritual, Dammit

Music therapy heals the soul

If you are down in the dumps or not feeling like yourself- don't go reaching for the anti-depressants.  Try your i-pod instead.  Yes- that's right- music is a proven form of therapy and it could be just what you need to get the pep back in your step.Playing the Building: An Installation by David Byrne - Photocall
I've always reached for music for certain things;  Mozart and Bach help me write.  Ricki Lee Jones makes me clean my house.  Deee-Lite keeps me running fast on the treadmill.  My son is completely soothed by Coldplay.  He will stop in his tracks if Clocks or Viva La Vida are within earshot.  

While some songs are motivators for me, others are total downers. If I feel like crying, just turn on Kate Bush's This Woman's Work, or Peter Gabriel's Family Snapshot.

I recently discovered that there is an American Music Therapy Association.  Do you know there are actual musical therapy interventions?  They use music to treat everything from Parkinson's to autism.  I knew it could make you feel better, but curing Parkinson's Disease?  One testimonials on the AMTA website says that it was music therapy that helped a woman walk when Doctors said she'd never walk again.

There are also stories out there where music motivates bad acts of violence, so the choice of your music therapy is not taken lightly if you are being treated by a credentialed music therapist.


I recently went to see the musical High Fidelity.  It's now playing at Piper's Alley in Chicago.  I like my musicals to be traditional in nature- (Music Man, or Bye Bye Birdie- the ones where you know all the words if you're a dork like me.)  I had heard good things about High Fidelity and saw it got a bunch of Jefferson Award Nominations- but I didn't know any of the songs, so I wasn't sure if I would enjoy it.

The show was amazing, and I walked out of the theater in the best mood.  It was like an energy boost or an endorphin rush.  It didn't matter that the songs weren't familiar.  They were good enough- and worked well with the story line- so it just all flowed for me.  It's also so refreshing to see actors who also have talent enough to sing and play instruments.  (If you haven't seen the play yet- find a reason to head to the intersection of North and Wells in the next few weeks!)   

I'm thinking about going to the American Music Therapy Association's conference in November.  They offer everything from networking to their own version of "American Idol" where conference goers can unleash their "inner-musician" on stage in front of everyone. (limit 5 minutes please!)  It's in San Diego, so just looking at the ocean will make you happy.  

Now- the difficult task of picking the tune to sing to perform for an audience.  Do I go old school like "Luck Be A Lady" or pick something with more of an impact such as Pat Benatar's "Hit Me With Your Best Shot"?  

Definitely Pat Benetar.  



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OldChicago said:

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Luck Be A Lady gets my vote.

sujay48@sbcglobal.net said:

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I agree wholeheartedly, Music does heal the soul. I was listening to Whitney Houston's latest song I Look to You ministers to my very being.

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