In the introduction to The Mozart Effect: Tapping the Power of Music to Heal the Body, Strengthen the Mind, and Unlock the Creative Spirit, author Don Campbell writes, "In an instant, music can uplift our soul. It awakens within us the spirit of prayer, compassion, and love. It clears our minds and has been known to make us smarter.
"Music can dance and sing our blues away. It conjures up memories of lost lovers or deceased friends. It lets the child in us play, the monk in us pray, the cowgirl in us line dance, the hero in us surmount all obstacles. It helps the stroke patient find language and expression."
While listening to music always makes me feel good, playing an instrument is a healing experience. I recently decided I needed a simple instrument, which I could teach myself to play. So I bought a new harmonica and David Harp's book, MentalPhysical Fitness. Wow!
The beauty of the harmonica is that you make progress quickly. It's little so that you can take it everywhere. But more importantly, I had decided to add deep breathing and meditation to my wellness activities and the harmonica works for both.
I practice every night before I go to sleep and it allows me to breathe deeply, to focus solely on the sounds of music, and to smile. I sure hope that I become more skilled at playing the harmonica than I have at playing the accordion and the ukulele, my two other instrument picks during the last few years. Hope springs eternal!