Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Bringing Peace Through Music

The emotional impact of music is one of the reasons we share it at social events. Typically the shared music is for pure celebration, but for memorial services there are other emotional aspects that the music reflects. The songs and underscoring music at memorial services are able to bring us to an internal place of remembrance and peace.

On Saturday I was proud of how Diane Martinson and I provided the music for a memorial service. It gave me a strong sense of purpose to perform meaningful songs that brought peace to the family and friends. I strove to play the piano to express assuredness and reverence through the music.

When I want to musically express a feeling, I draw upon my own emotions like a method actor. For memorials, I learn about the person during the service and feel their influence. It reminds me of others who are now with me in spirit. I reflect on my continued love for those who have passed and I also call upon a power outside of myself for a calming strength. When I channel those feelings it comes out in how I express the music.

Accompanying Diane is even more powerful. It's always an honor to create the musical canvas for her to paint the song on with her passionate vocals. Combining words with melody is a sum greater than the parts, the way that Diane is able to bring out the intent of the phrases and tell the story of the song. I love our unspoken connection as we musically co-create each phrase's expression - the benefit of years performing together. The feelings I channel unite with her expressed feelings bringing forth an uplifting sense with a deep underlying calmness.

It felt wonderful to hear the family's grateful comments when they talked with Diane and I after the service. I also experience a great benefit when I perform the music for a memorial service. I feel the reverence and comfort that I strive to bring to those in mourning. I am grateful for the peace and connection I feel in bringing healing feelings through music.