Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Alive Inside

Connectedness of Music

start listening to music at birth
Listen to your heart!

The winner of the 2014 Audience award at the Sundance Film Festival is the documentary, Alive Inside: A Story of Music and Memory. This remarkable, touching film reveals how music can open up doorways to the soul inside, even for seemingly comatose people living in nursing homes. 

Take two minutes to view the official trailer above. Social worker, Dan Cohen, has set off on a mission to increase the quality of life to the many millions of patients, most with dementia, in the thousands of nursing homes across the United States of America. He creates a playlist based on research into each patient's background. 

music therapy
Just one more concerto, pops

Then, one-by-one, each person is given an iPod with headphones holding their personalized tunes. The results are astounding, inspiring, tear-jerking, and heart-wrenching. This is a game-changer of a movie and it speaks to the social condition as well as the human spirit.

Papa Green Bean Growing Up

My mother read all the classic fairy tales and other children’s standards to me. I became immersed into the sweet cadence of Mother Hubbard’s nursery rhymes and Dr. Seuss’s whimsical intonations. Didn’t we all? 

My brother, three years my elder, was given a guitar when he was ten, and had formed a rock & roll band by twelve. It was 1967 and the Beatles were tearing it up, along with many other talented bands like the Rolling Stones. His band practiced at our house for hours and I listened intently, sneaking in after everyone had left and quietly tapping out rhythms to the stacks of 45 discs by the record player. 

Hey Mr. Tambourine Boy, play a song for me

My parents often played classical music and popular musicals on our stereo. I knew the entire Sound of Music, My Fair Lady, and West Side Story sound tracks before ever having seen the movies!  

Musical Sunsets

We all fear the cold, solemn tragedy of old age helplessness. Seeing dying, motionless, sorrowful individuals awaken to melodies of their past was miraculous. Eyes begin to twinkle, shoulders begin to sway, arms, legs, hands, and feet begin to dance. The depth of compassion is aroused in us as it comes alive again in them… all because of music. 

After viewing, Alive Inside, the theatre was buzzing with spiritual energy. There’s a pure deep connection between musical rhythm and a human being’s physical and psyche makeup. 

Papa Green Bean Conclusion:

It is well documented that singing to your baby in utero builds early connections between parents and child. Inside the womb, the developing fetus is literally engulfed by the mothers rhythmic heartbeat. 

parenting, baby, birth
Fiddler on the womb

Songs repeatedly played to the pre-birth child are proven to be quite calming when played to the newborn baby.  With music to feed our soul, there is hope and gratification for reliving our childhood poetries and harmonious youth over again. 

Sing it in, sing it out, Papa Green Bean