Everything Felt Unfamiliar
In 2014 my wife, Layla, and I found ourselves in a small guest house right outside of Port-au-Prince, Haiti.
We were on a bonding trip to meet our son, Steevenson, for the first time.
Being so far from home and in Haiti for the first time, everything felt unfamiliar.
The sights, the sounds, the smells, the language.
We heard the sound of singing children coming from next door.
We both lit up like Christmas trees as smiles erupted across our faces.
We quickly made our way up to the roof of the guest house and looked down to see an elementary school courtyard where teachers and students had gathered to sing in worship.
The Moment Time Stood Still
The hair on the back of my neck stood up as I listened to their beautiful acappella voices fill the air.
In those few moments, time stood still.
Peace flowed throughout my entire body and in the span of less than a minute, I went from feeling uncomfortable and misplaced to being fully connected to my surroundings, the teachers, and the students.
This is the power of music.
“Music is the universal language of mankind.” ― Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
As a songwriter, I’ve always understood that, at its core, writing music is about creating a connection with the listener.
But on that day in Haiti, I discovered that music has the power to create a much deeper connection than I realized.
One that can act as a bridge between language and culture.
I’ve since learned that the connection between music and man runs even deeper.
The Healing Power of Music
One of the most intriguing aspects of music is its ability to reach places that nothing else can.
Beautiful and mysterious waves of sound find their way into our very souls and have the power to heal.
Doctors use music to treat people with Alzheimer's and Dementia.
Patients come to life singing the lyrics to their favorite songs while smiling and moving their bodies to the music.
Musicians with memory loss can miraculously play along with the songs just as they did decades earlier.
Music is used in Speech Therapy because singing has the unique ability to unlock difficult words for patients and create new connections in the brain.
Those with advanced Parkinson’s begin to unfreeze and move their bodies again when listening to music.
Music has the incredible ability to reach deep inside and change our moods, open our hearts, heal our hurts, connect us to each other, and transport us through time.
It transcends culture and language and quite literally lights up every part of our brain.
It’s the language of the soul.
A true and wondrous gift from God!
This Is The Power of Music
Back at the guest house in Haiti, inspired by the sound of the children singing, I took out my guitar and began playing and singing in the courtyard.
While I was singing, I noticed one of the Haitian ladies in the kitchen watching me and smiling.
As I sang, “Open the eyes of my heart Lord” in English, she joined in singing, “I want to see you!” in Haitian Creole.
The music connected us as the melody carried us through the song.
Neither one of us understood the language of the other, but we understood each other’s hearts perfectly, and just for a little while, time stood completely still.
This is the power of music.
I hope you have a great week filled with music, melody, and a few moments when the world disappears for a while.
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