Music Therapy – Everywhere Present

Kyle playing the piano at Salmon Creek Coffee Company.

I think music therapy happens in the most common places, like coffee shops.  Some may think that I would think this because I spend most of my mornings, afternoons, and sometimes evenings in them and need to expand my horizons.  This may be true, but I do follow or create a trail of my coffee shop cruising that often leads me to the Sound of Music as well.

Recently a Canadian Facebook Friend wrote that I need to share the images and music on my Facebook for friends to experience.  Words, images, and the Sound of Music.  Music therapy without the therapist, certification, and rules to follow.  Today I did just that – posted a video from YouTube for the song Calling All Angels by Train, that was playing during my early morning coffee shop cruising field trip.

This afternoon I parked myself at the Salmon Creek Coffee Company and while I was editing photos, Kyle asked if I would mind if he played the piano.  How perfect – something to add to my thoughts on music therapy!  The baby grand piano was brought to the coffee shop yesterday by the local piano tuner, Jonathan Owens, who also happens to be a musician.

This coffee shop is a conduit, working some special magic for the communities in the Okanogan Valley.  There’s a good representation of local products, services, art, and music here and it seems that anyone who can give a helping hand to make all this happen does.  The music therapy element of this magic is organized by Lonnie and Teresa Good and coordinated with the coffee shop owner, Melanie Mills.  They create and promote a weekly Singer-Songwriter showcase on Thursdays.  The Good Duo recently brought in Peter, a local cinematographer to video tape the performances.

This is just one recipe for Unity in Community.  The ingredients include, but are not limited to a coffee shop, owners of a recording studio, a cinematographer, a county chock-a-block full of musicians willing to play for tips, and members of the communities who come out on a Thursday night to enjoy the shows.

Music can also be therapy for the songwriters and musicians.  While wandering my way from one coffee shop to another in Long Beach, California, I stumbled upon a coffee shop in a Senior Center which was open to the public.  Inside I found a 8 or 9 piece band who played there every Wednesday from 9 am – 11 am and was led by a 92 year old man.  In addition to the band, I met a few musicians and had the opportunity to talk to a 70-something man, Tommy, who talked to me a little bit about “Singin’ the Blues” and how the blues have changed over the years.  Here’s a little bit from the conversation I had with him:

As Tommy stated, they were “living” what they were singing about.  Music therapy.

Then there are the lyrics that speak to us.  When Lonnie Good found out that I lived in southern Utah, he asked if I was familiar with the Mountain Meadow Massacre that happened in the area.  He shared with me that his great-grandfather was one of very few that survived as a 6 month old baby.  The pain of the story was so great that Lonnie found that writing a song about it was a healing exercise.  Again, music becomes a form of therapy for us.

A sample of lyrics from his song:

They were just a bunch of farmers
In a west bound wagon train
They stumbled into Utah
Needing food they were low on grain
They were met with hostility
By leaders of the local church
Men, women, children died the same
In the Mountain Meadow Massacre
Shame on the mountain
Blood in the meadow
From a massacre
Their blood cries out
From dark shadows
To be heard

Of course, lyrics are often healing for the listeners as much or more than the songwriters.  One of my favorites is that of Amazing Grace, a song that not only has an incredible story behind it, but continues to be used in many different venues, from concerts to churches to recovery programs.

I think music itself is Amazing Grace.

About Kristy "Kiki"

I'm just a gypsy with a passion for the earth, people, art, music, photography, and writing.
This entry was posted in A Season for Non-Violence, Coffee Shop, Music, My Spiritual Journey and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to Music Therapy – Everywhere Present

  1. Hi Kristy…I enjoy reading your stories and musings. You’re very prolific and consistent. Wonderful job! Thanks for including my song/poems in the mix….Harvey

  2. Pingback: The 5 Good Things in My Life…Today | My Road to Zion

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