Music therapists like to say that we can use music with people “from birth to the grave” because we work with so many populations, with people of all ages. One of the things I appreciate about my job is that I get to work with so many different people in different stages of life. Today for instance, I started with a visit to a sweet little lady who is 103 years young! As I was singing You Are My Sunshine, one of her favorites, I realized that later this evening I would get to use the same song in a very different way.
For this lady, this song is a familiar sound which helps her feel a sense of calm. It probably also brings to mind a time much earlier in her life when she first heard it or perhaps she associates a time, place, or person to it. Presenting this song to her encourages her to sing along and connect to this moment. What a joy to watch her!
This evening I will be offering a monthly support group for NICU parents at our local hospital. Parents who have premature infants in the NICU are often anxious, stressed, and exhausted. They just want their baby to get healthy and strong and take them home to start their lives as a family. In this instance I am there to meet with parents to make sure they have a support system in place, that they are getting what they need, and to share with them how music can help them and their babies. One of the things that I encourage parents to do it sing with their babies which not only helps the baby but helps the parent bond with the baby. Tonight I will be helping parents to write their own lullaby to sing to their baby, using You Are My Sunshine as a model.
I feel so blessed to share the gift of music with so many people! Music truly is a wonderful thing!
(image found on zazzle.com)