Music Medicine is what I do! I have always been fascinated by the power of music to change my mood, calm and comfort me or to energize me and even thrill me! As a child, I sang and sang and sang; alone, with my sister, and in church with my family and the whole congregation. I loved listening to the organist and to the boy who played in my Sunday School class.
I always wanted to share this love of music with others, but was not aware of the fields of music therapy, music healing, and music medicine. And so I decided I wanted to be a performer and do lecture-recitals where I could teach and inform the audience as well as performing the music I love for them. One of my favorite video clips of me doing this at Clemson University is here:
I feel so honored and grateful to have had the career that I have for the past 27 years, in the field of Music Medicine. After receiving my PhD in musicology in 1990, I was offered a fantastic opportunity at the University of Louisville School of Medicine. I became the Coordinator of Music and Medicine and conducted clinical research into “Psychohysiological Benefits of Tone and Chant,” and “The Therapeutic Benefits of Music with Patients diagnosed with Alzheimer’s Disease.”
It was there, at the University of Louisville School of Medicine, that I began to read about the ancient roots of sound, vibrations, and actual music to heal the body, mind and spirit. Have you ever read something for the first time and thought “well, of course, that’s the way it happened!” That’s how I felt when I read about humans from prehistoric times being soothed with the sounds of nature and a mother’s lulling, the ancient Greeks and Romans, using their modes and instruments for specific diseases and of course, the Bible talking about music being the only things that brought King Saul out of his depression, when Little David played on his harp!
This eventually led me to where I am today, specializing in Music with Surgery! It’s been a wonderful and fantastic journey!