Heart Dance Records Artist, Monica Williams shares how music brings healing and connects us all together. Music is a gift!
I am passionate about creating music and passing it on through teaching. I love both!
I came to music as a kid, and discovered that I was not only good at it but I loved it. It became my 'thing', and quickly became part of my identity. I was a musician and loved it.
Music is not only a career, but a means of coping with a world that is not always easy to live in. Through music you can escape, and become more clearer with your present situations. I feel fortunate that I can pass that on to students. I have been told many times that music is a means to coping with stress for them as well.
I recently did 4 mini concerts while home for very special audience.
The first was for my sisters kindergarten class, she teaches special needs kids several classrooms. The students were very receptive. We sang to songs they knew, and danced to some too. They use New Age music for quiet time every day and were very familiar with the songs on my recent CD. This music helps them connect to themselves and quiet their mind and body so they can learn better. My sister Lisa Renee is an amazing teacher and was good to see her use this tool with the students.
Later in the trip I went to PA to see my 94 year old grandmother who is in a nursing home. I put on a little concert at the assistant living center. I played a variety of music. Afterwards I spoke to an amazing women named Connie. She was in tears. Her family told me she used to play flute and her siblings played cello and piano. They performed as a trio. In her family trio. At first I was upset the music was making her cry, but then i realized that tears are healing. She was connecting to all the beautiful moments in her life. Music can bring you back.
After this little concert I learned that the residents in the Alzheimer’s/ memory care units could not leave their floors to attend so I played two more concerts for them.
The first one was the memory care. Here residents enjoyed the variety of music. I told stories of how each piece made me feel. I explained that music that has no words is powerful because you can make your own story and meaning behind each song. That it can literally take you on a traveling adventure if you allow it. Afterwards i talked to many of the residents. There was a women that had tears in her eyes, she took my hands and asked if she could tell me something. She started by saying “ I want to tell you something, but I’m working hard not to cry. There was a feeling that came over me when you started playing. It was a sense of calm that I have not experienced in so long.” At this point there were tears in my eyes. I thanked her for telling me and told her that was the nicest comment I had gotten in a long time and that my goal as an artist was just that. She then said “I wish I could just make this feeling last longer”. I said, but you can I will leave you a cd so so you can listen anytime. It felt great to be able to leave all the residents of that floor with music.
After that I went to another Alzheimer’s floor. This one was the more extensive memory care floor, were more advanced stages of the disease was. I played a concert. Some new age, but lots up upbeat Christmas and old time favorites. In many ways this concert was similar to my first one with the children. The enjoyed clapping to the music. Residents were holding baby dolls- talking to them as they sang songs. They did not care they did not know the words. Some of them even sang to original songs there was no words to. They did not care. They were enjoining the moment! Kids are great at this too. In many ways I am striving to be like them- not worrying about the past, excited about the little things in life. After the concert I was talking to one of the aids. She was explaining to me how many of the residents revert back to almost a Childlike state. She said you should have been here on Christmas when Santa Cause came. There was not a dry eye from anyone working. They were truly excited for the visit. All residents enjoyed the music in their own unique way- I felt blessed to witness it!
So I was fortunate to see the power of music four times during my trip. And I am reminded as an artist it is important to make more time for sharing music in similar spaces. We all have busy life’s but it is important. Music does heal and connect.