PATEL: Music’s impact transcends any award ceremony

Sarah Patel

While the Grammy Awards are marketed as the biggest night in music, they tend to feature a very limited variety of artists and underplay the wider role of music in our lives. Last night’s ceremony made me think about how I relate to music, how what I choose to listen to varies depending on my mood or the context.Patelcolor

Music, in its many forms and genres, is an influential part of our lives and has positive effects. Thinking back on our memories, many of us use a song to explain how we were feeling, or to define a particular moment. Just listening to a song can bring up long forgotten memories and sensory stimulation.

A documentary called “Alive Inside,” which can be streamed through Netflix, shows how music can help bring back memories in those suffering from Alzheimer’s disease. It is interesting to see how individuals who did not respond to medication or other forms of stimulation changed completely when a song from their past was played. Most were brought to tears, some danced and sang along and others were able to recall memories from the past that Alzheimer’s hid from them.

We never really look at music as something that heals. Most commonly, we see it as a form of entertainment, something to listen to while we work out or study and a mood booster. Yet, music has been proven to help in many ways for many different things.

Music therapy is becoming more common as the years go on and it as seen as another form of creative healing. Where medication fails, music thrives and many individuals who seek this treatment are more responsive when music is played or used to help engage them.

The documentary about music therapy and its benefits is rightly named, as the featured individuals come to life and demonstrate emotions that are truly moving. The power music shows in the film made me look at the way I listen to music differently and appreciate it so much more.

My favorite story from the documentary showed the couple Norman and Nel, who were able to put off long-term care because of music. Nel suffered from Alzheimer’s and her husband was able to bring music into their home in such a way that she did not need to be put on medication or put into a nursing home until 10 years after her diagnosis. Music helped her stay lucid and as a result she was able to remain with Norman longer.

Everyone connects to music in their own unique way. Whether it is singing, playing an instrument, dancing, listening to it or all of the above, I think we all can find one melody or song that affects us like none other. A song that makes us feel alive inside and that can do wonders for our emotions. We connect with music in a way that is entirely human as it allows us to communicate, remember and just live our lives.

“Alive Inside” gives a fascinating glimpse into how music can affect people in positive ways and it encourages everyone to think about how music enhances and influences their lives.