As a passionate, life-long lover of music I recognize the emotional power that music has on me on a daily basis. It can flood my body with pulsing elation, take me back to places I’ve lost in time or tell stories foreign and unfamiliar but yet still so moving and real. Music is a form education and communication as much as it is a form of artistic expression. The combination of poetry, rhythm, emotion, passion and many other aspects together form what we love and treasure and could not possibly live without. There is no formula for music.
Our natural drive and thirst for melody and rhythm in everyday life is what creates such an emotional attachment to music. Recently, nursing homes have discovered the ability music has to bring patients with an almost catatonic disconnection to the world back to life. People who don’t recognize their families anymore, or can’t form fluent sentences, or possess no ability to express emotion will often suddenly flourish into a state of awakened happiness at the sound of their favorite songs.
As technology has become more advanced over the last couple decades, music has become more and more available to those who need it but have been previously exempt from it. Apple’s iPod has become so small and accessible people literally have their favorite music at their fingertips and that, as you will see, has the ability to drastically change and renew lives.
Recently, a documentary, called Alive Inside, has been started on this very phenomenon of people in nursing homes “coming back to life” at the sound of their music. They have released a couple excerpts on YouTube that are incredibly moving and truly show the healing power of music.