Wednesday, April 29, 2020

Seven Songs of Solace

Dear Friends,

It has been said that in times past during pandemics, society relied on artists, poets and visionaries to give voice to the major transformation place.  Massive change happening at an accelerated rate left people without language to make sense of it all.  

After the 9/11 attacks, I read an article that asked people to tell what helped them heal form their loss, confusion and despair. All of them mentioned a song that gave voice to words they didn’t have. Others told about concerts that connected them with others and validated their experience.  It made me realize that music was more important than ever. It was this time that inspired me to become a Certified Music Practitioner which led to working at University of Virginia Hospital and several nursing homes playing therapeutic music for patients. 

In mid-March, my work as a therapeutic musician came to a halt when the Coronavirus stopped the world.  My greatest joy has been to bring comfort, hope, healing, and connection to others with music.  Suddenly, I was left without the option of being able to go into any of the places where I had become a part of so many people’s lives. 
Then an idea came to me for a way I could continue to put music out into the world.  “Seven Songs of Solace” was conceived for this purpose. I have really enjoyed working on this project. It is my hope that these songs provide you with hours of enjoyment hope and comfort. 

Thank you for supporting this musical project. Each month, I will donate 10% of the proceeds from the to a different organization working to help our front line workers in health care during this pandemic. You will find links to videos and sound files to hear the selections on my webpage listed below. 

You may purchase Seven Songs of Solace by a donation at the link below. 
(Pay as you may. Any amount appreciated!) 

You may hear the songs in the book at this link:

Saturday, April 4, 2020

A last visit for now

I've been working at a nursing home for 3 years in activities. Each Saturday, I go room to room singing with residents who are bed ridden or do not come out of their rooms. For the last 3 weeks, all of the residents have been instructed to stay in their rooms due to covoid 19 precautions.

Today, I made my last round of singing room to room until the pandemic subsides. It was a hard decision to step away but better to do so now and be safe

Today's musical visits were very touching to me.  I sat with Ms. C. for a long time and we sang many songs from her childhood camp and church songbook.  C. is someone who attends all activities and she's very social.  Being quarantined to her room has been hard on her. Today though, we escaped the feelings of sadness and isolation through sharing of songs.  We sang some of our favorites, 'We Shall Not Be Moved," "Keep on the Sunny Side," "Do Lord," "I'll Fly Away." She sang some of the songs I don't know for me, "Red, Red Robin, ""When the Roll is Called up Yonder." I always feel uplifted from being around her.  She endures her suffering (she is wheelchair bound and usually in a lot of pain) without complaint and always finds a way to have a positive outlook.

I also loved singing with Mr. M.   I know he loves old Motown and we sang, "My Girl" first. Lots of smiles and laughter with that song.  When I started to sing, "Stand By Me,"  Mr. M. sang along while wiping his tears away with a handkerchief. We then sang a few songs by Bill Withers, who just passed away. "Lean on Me" and "Ain't No Sunshine" were particularly poignant for the times.

It's easy to feel overwhelmed when I am there because there are so many of them and only one of me. Yet when we sing, the sadness melts away and they help me just as much as I hope to be helping them.

We're gonna get through this. We got this.