Music has the power to heal

Notes for sermon at Bromyard Folk Festival service: good luck trying to work out how it all got used. Very interactive and went down a storm!

Why is music and music-making together so special

Loads of reasons but NB very striking Saul & David story > power to heal

Good news in a world which is so rubbish now

How does it work.? Four quick thoughts.

(1) Takes us out of ourselves

Distraction; relieving pain, reducing stress [music therapy]

Beverly Meyz story (Exec Editor, Harvard Women’s Health Watch)

The last time I had a mammogram, I got a big surprise — and it was a good one. A string quartet was playing just outside the doors of the breast imaging center, and my thoughts

immediately shifted from “What are they going to find on the mammogram?” to “Is that Schubert, or Beethoven?” By the

time my name was called, I had almost forgotten why I was there.

But more

(2) Paradoxically

Also releases an order deeper within ourselves

Helping speech resurface after a stroke

Helping elderly and dementia sufferers sing and smile

(3) And then

Connects this with an order beyond ourselves

Rhythm Clapping exercise

Harmony Pentatonic scale quiz (black notes)

Skye boat song Amazing Grace

Swing Low sweet chariot Auld Lang Syne

Baa baa black sheep Sing a song of sixpence

There’s a hole in my bucket Stairway to Heaven (Led Z)

(4) Then finally

Connects us with others, so we can bring new order to the world

Pete Seeger of “We shall overcome”, “If I had a hammer”

“This machine surrounds hate and forces it to surrender”

I want to say that all this doesn’t feel like an accident!

As if cosmos a great machine for reversing entropy

turning chaos into order, truth and beauty, making good

and birthing souls/individuals who can enjoy and effect it

Musicians rule OK! And everyone who builds a better world.

There’s a project worth joining!

And if you want a new place to start

Go back to David and his Psalms

A whole songbook there in our dusty old Bibles

Shot through with how as a somposer and performer

He found new ways of handling his fears and anxieties

Some of us still use at part of our daily meditations

Going to sing my own version of Psalm 139 now

Written as I worked my way through a particularly dark time, wondering

who I was and where I was going.

God bless you on our own journey of healing today and every day