Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Music, Memory, and my Yoga Voice

Good day, my friends.
Let's talk about music today.
Theodore Roosevelt said, "Comparison is the thief of all joy" and it's true. Over the past several months I've been taking yoga classes from some amazing yoga teachers, all who have calm and velvety sounding voices, soothing and melodic and mesmerizing. Compared to my yoga masters, I think my voice sounds more like a California girl, caught up in crazy banter with my daughter, both of us talking over the top of each other, fast and furious with sometimes two subject matters going at once. That's how I identify with my voice.

I attended a workshop called "Yoga of the Voice" at my favorite yoga studio this past weekend. As I prepare to complete my 200-hour yoga teacher certification at the end of December, I thought this workshop would be good for me and I was right. The workshop was awesome! I was pulled out of my comfort zone and I really did learn a lot. You know, the voice is like a lot of other things - if you don't use it, you lose it.

me with my daddy's guitar

I sang a lot when I was younger - especially when my dad was still around. He played guitar and I even sang up on stage with his band when I was five years old. I sang the chorus of "Tiger by the Tail" and thought I didn't do well because nobody danced - they were all too busy watching me perform.

When Carrie was little we sang together a lot too. Our night time routines involved reading a story (or two), and then when the lights went out I'd lightly rub her back while I sang two (or three) songs. I loved waking her up on school mornings with a lively rendition of "It's a beautiful morning... ahhhh... oooh-oooh... I think I'll go outside for a while..." Ha. She wasn't as fond of that song as she was of her night time favorites.

I'm sure all of us can identify with songs from our past. Those songs that instantly take us back to a place and time, or remind us of a certain someone. So during the workshop when the subject of an organization called Music and Memories came up, I was very interested in learning more about it.

Music and Memories is an organization that is bringing music to nursing home patients with Alzheimer's and dementia. Watch this trailer for a documentary called "Alive Inside" to see some touching footage of patients receiving the gift of music. The transformations are incredible! I love knowing that an organization like this exists, and that somehow those who seem lost from this life are given the gift of memory through music.

You can make a donation on their website, or click here to learn how you can help by donating your used iPod. They'll even pay the postage for sending your iPod within the United States.

Yoga means "union" - union of body, mind, spirit and even voice. How wonderful to have experienced such a unique workshop last weekend, to be reminded of my own sweet music memories, and to be able to spread the word about a worthy cause such as Music and Memories. As for my yoga voice? I'll keep working on that!

It's such a blessing to be me.

10 comments:

Sian said...

Really lovely, interesting thought provoking, memory-bringing-back post (with a cute photo!)

My grandpa, who could play anything, used to set me up on a chair to sing Amazing Grace for him. I'd forgotten until now:)

Karen said...

Another wonderful post, Deb. My father was a music professor so we grew up surrounded by music. I sang in choirs from high school through young adulthood and took piano lessons for years. Sadly, I gave up the piano so long ago, that I can't really do much any more. Neither my brother or I inherited the musical talents of my father. Tracy's family, though, includes a whole group of musicians who bring their instruments to Christmas dinner and play as the family band. It's wonderful, and so much fun!

scrappyjacky said...

Another thought provoking post,Deb.....old memories often come flooding back when I hear certain songs.

Ruth said...

As a side, I think music has a positive impact on children with Autism ...
You've written a lovely post and I love that photo!

Lizzie said...

I suppose a calm, quiet voice can be useful to a Yoga teacher - but if you were given a lively, cheerful voice, then you should use it to benefit others - there's nothing quite like a cheery, happy person, to help keep the spirits up!

Our home is full of music these days. James has so many instruments and, since we acquired our piano, in September, he has played every day. He just sits down -and plays! Whatever he wants to play, he will sort of work it out for himself and there is the music. I can't do this - I need sheet music, and practice - lots of practice, but it just comes naturally to James. He plays popular songs that he likes - and sometimes sings them too - as well as classical pieces and also his own compositions. When he fancies a change, he has a guitar, double bass and cello to choose from - it's rarely quiet for long in our house!
How wonderful to help people who are sick, by giving them music and stirring up good memories for them. Music is a very special thing - there really isn't anything else quite like it, for memories and feelings.
Keep enjoying your music and song, Deb!

Carrie Morley said...

Oh God. Just seeing "It's a beautiful morning" typed out makes me roll my eyes. I love your voice, but not so much at 6:00 in the morning. I don't love anything at 6:00am though. :)

Gail said...

A very lovely and thought provoking post Deb. It made me remember singing in the car on long (well to us they were long then) trips. I saw a report on tv about music and alzheimers patients - it was really interesting.

Miriam said...

I feel really uplifted this morning reading your post. You may or may not know that I worked with people living with Alzheimers and have first hand knowledge of the power of music. Alzheimers Society over here run therapy sessions called 'Singing for the Brain'. My group ran on a Monday morning and was a beautiful start to the week. Thanks for this lovely post Deb.

Becky said...

Very thought provoking and a very cute photo of you too!

alexa said...

That's a very sweet photo ... and a very thought-provoking post. How lovely that you and your Dad made music together. My sister-in-law runs a choir over here for those with Parkinson's, and they get such a lot out of it ...

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