| Special Topic: Music and Mother's Day
I was excited when someone suggested to me that I write about music and Mother’s Day. As a matter of fact, I would like to dedicate this issue to my own mother, Alice Adelaide Adams Hudnall, fondly known to her friends as “Tumpy.” My mother sang to me as a baby and small child and after I would go to bed at night I could hear her at the piano playing “Teddy Bear’s Picnic,” “Blues in the Night,” “Take Time to be Holy,” and many others. I can vividly remember that I could hardly wait to take piano lessons and would try each day to pick out favorite tunes when I could. Music filled my days as a child and because I was a minister’s daughter, I heard a lot of church music. Much of the theology that I believe today comes from all of the hymns I sang as a child growing up in the Methodist Church. I finally started lessons at age 8 and my mother would sit with me during practice time for the first year. After that she said that I had passed her and was left on my own except for an occasional request from her to play something special for my piano recital.
The piano is no longer in her home but whenever we’re together and a piano is nearby, I try to find a way to get her there and play for her. Now I have three daughters of my own and they too love music like I did. Giving children the opportunity to learn an instrument and to be exposed to great music is a gift that nothing else can match. There is so much research showing that children who have been exposed to music lessons and concerts, do better on standardized test and math and science, among other things. You can read more about this at:
When I married in 1971, one of her many gifts to me was framed copies of some of my grandmother’s (her mother’s) more colorful sheet music from the WWI era, songs “I may be gone for a long, long time,” with a woman’s face looking wistfully over the ocean. These are treasures to me for so many reasons. Now that I am grown and in more of a caretaking position, I have found many ways to use music to help my mother through a variety of situations. Most recently, she had surgery for a total hip replacement. She asked me to make the nearly 1,000 mile round-trip a few days before her surgery so that we could choose together the best music for her to listen to through headphones during the procedure. We had done the same a few years ago when she had heart bypass surgery. Today she left the hospital and is still talking about how the music helped to relax and calm her since she could not have general anesthesia. She is a “true Believer” in the power of music to heal and comfort. I am so grateful to her for instilling in me the love of music.
Dr. Cash is featured in this interesting Alternative Medicine article by Linda Stahl in the Courier-Journal, Louisville, Kentucky,
March 11, 2004. Read the article HERE.
I have a client who is severely depressed. He says that the only thing in the world that makes him happy is music. How can I help him?
Working with depressed individuals is difficult. If your client says that music makes him happy then you might consider asking him to come up with 4 or 5 songs or pieces from each decade of his life that have brought him happiness and then take some time to explore with him what was happening in his life at that time and how the music made him feel better. You’ll get a better understanding of what has appealed to him throughout his life and can then look for common threads. Best of luck and let me know how it goes!
May 12 “The Healing Power of Music” AARP Group 10:30-11:30 a.m.
Wednesday, Chapel House 945 S. Fifth St., Louisville
May 20 “A Life of Music: Autobiographical Concert” Cornell Trace, 1:30 PM, Hurstborne Pkwy, Louisville.
June 18-25 “Exploring Health and Healing” co-sponsored by Scripps Health System and Calgary Health Region. The Fairmont Chateau, Lake Louise, Alberta, Canada.
As always, Dr. Cash will set up workshops in Louisville and surrounding areas at special request if a minimum of 10-12 people can be assured.
Current popular topics are:
“Using music with the autistic child”
“Music as a Pathway to Higher Power”
“Wellness through Music: Ten Top Tips”
“Music and Childbirth: the Lullaby Project
| VI. Healing Music Services and Products
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Alice H. Cash, Ph.D., LCSW
Healing Music Enterprises
(502) 895-7688 (502) 419-1698 (mobile)
(502) 896-7277 (fax)