What determines health? Of course there are our genes, our constitution, environmental factors, exercise, diet, and lifestyle, but there is more: what about beauty, art, and love? More specifically, as the subject of today’s blog: music.
Project: Music Heals Us brings music to those who need it most. You can see Molly Carr and her friends from New York City perform an unusual style of chamber music on November 17. I loved them, but I love even more what she does with the proceeds. Ticket sales directly subsidize additional “healing concerts” played in local nursing homes, hospitals, hospices, homeless shelters, and prisons.
Molly Carr, the force behind this work, made her debut at Lincoln Center, is on the faculty at Juilliard, and tours worldwide. She founded Project: Music Heals Us as a result of a healing crisis of her own. When a shard of glass threatened to stop her career in its tracks, she came to Guilford to take a nurse’s aide course. While volunteering in a nursing home, she befriended a woman with Alzheimer’s whom nobody seemed to be able to reach. Molly did, and they formed a connection that touched her deeply. Molly promised herself that if she were ever able to play again, she would come to play for her. That seed of giving grew as she envisioned bringing her gift, skill, and passion to others who were hurting, alone, and unreached for extended periods of time.
How exactly does music help? Molly tells a story of an inmate, John, who stood up to share after a concert at his prison. He thanked her and told the musicians he would like to let them know that he could see that their instruments were their voices. He said he knew he would never be a musician, but realized that because of seeing them, he knew he could find a new way to express his emotions.
Molly has other deeply moving stories that she shares at the concerts. If you can, come, listen, and drink in the healing energy of music. And remember, health is much more than doing time on the treadmill and counting calories. The beauty of nature, a painting or a poem has a tremendous power to move our spirits, which can deeply benefit our health.
The next Project: Music Heals Us concert will be held on Friday evening, November 17, at the First Congregational Church in Guilford. It will not be chamber music as usual, but will have the edgier sound of a ‘chamber rock band,’ consisting of three cellos and an acoustic drum set. They will play classic tunes with a rock sensibility, plus the theme song from “Game of Thrones.” Preconcert talk at 6, young artists perform at 6:45, concert begins at 7.
Oh, did I mention that there is an after concert reception with delicious, healthy refreshments, including gluten-free desserts? The $20 ticket donation at the door gives us the opportunity to be part of the healing process, both for ourselves as well as for the communities that Molly serves. Hope to see you there!