A Musical “Fix”

I’ve had the privilege of teaching beginning piano to children, adults of all ages and people with developmental disabilities. I’ve experienced their joy as they discover making music by something as simple as touching black and white keys. I can see their bright and dancing eyes when they play their first recognizable song. (Memory flash: One retired first time piano student brought me a bag of Hershey Kisses to show me how grateful he was for teaching him how to play.)

Besides my work with students with developmental disabilities, I’ve not specifically been involved with the field of music therapy. When Keith and I attended the University of Minnesota many years ago, music therapy was an innovative, fledgling degree program. Today, it is successfully used world-wide.

According to the American Music Therapy Association, music therapy interventions can be designed to:
• Promote Wellness
• Manage Stress
• Alleviate Pain
• Express Feelings
• Enhance Memory
• Improve Communication
• Promote Physical Rehabilitation

I recently read the story of Bill Forester, a 55 year old college professor who had a stroke and lost his ability to speak. (The teacher in me identifies with the importance and joy of speaking.) Through music therapy, which includes exercising his hands on the piano and singing, his skills have been restored. He is “talking up a storm.” Click here to see a video about him.

I haven’t needed professional music therapy but I can see how playing piano has been therapeutic for me. Another form of my “music therapy” over the past thirteen years has been ballroom dancing with Keith. Our wonderful, older Romanian dance teacher frequently reminded us of the benefits of dancing – spirit, soul and body.

Whether playing an instrument, singing or dancing, music is a vital part of a healthy life. Are you incorporating music into your life on a consistent basis? If you have had an experience with music therapy, especially through piano, I would love to hear about it. You can comment below for others to see or you can e-mail me at joann@freeburgpianos.com. Please notice that you can subscribe to my weekly blog by clicking on the “Follow” icon at the lower right hand corner of this page.

Life is Grand


6 thoughts on “A Musical “Fix”

  1. It’s my dream to learn to play the piano and some day I just know that I will. Music is such a healing outlet for me. I would be lost without it, as is dance. I do love to dance. I will be very happy when I’ve conquered this issue with neuropathy in my legs so I can get back to dancing up a storm. I still do a little bi but its painful right now. I do know though that I will be back to my “new” self in no time. Love your blog and I for one can certainly attest to the healing that takes place for me with music and dancing.

    • Thank you, Kimberly. I agree with you that one day soon you will be physically dancing again. Meanwhile, keep dancing in your heart as you always do. As far as piano, please let us know when you play in your first recital. Blessings!

  2. Music is therapy for me whether I am just listening (radio, choirs, soloists) or playing the piano (sometimes creating), singing in the choir, special group, or quartet, or ballroom dancing, out most recent venue. I’ve seen its calming effect on myself, family, and friends. I’ve seen it in a more therapeutic way in some with emotional issues. It is used in a very positive way with the elderly. Music is such an integral part of my life and I don’t know what I would do without it! My son and I argue (well, discuss strongly) over which one of us loves it the most.

    I’ll never forget having to attend a full day of very dry meetings and dreading it so much. But the meeting was opened up by a lady soloist singing,” O Glorious Love of Christ My Lord Divine……” After that, while holding back tears, the whole day of meetings went SO much better that I actually enjoyed them!?

    Try working in a nursery and using the musical toys to help satisfy and occupy the toddlers. What a wonderful way of therapy!

    • Susie, Have you read “The Great Dance” by C. Baxter Krueger? Excellent. I know you would enjoy it. He also wrote “The Shack Revisited.” We are definitely “dancing” at Freeburg Pianos. The tempo has increased and there are a lot of new steps to the dance. We’re working hard and having so much fun. Glory to God.

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