I have always been deeply touched by music. Having studied classical piano I still play and sometimes like to compose. Those have been the best moments of my life. They are the times I have felt the closest to my Creator. As Kasey Kasem once said: ‘Music is the soundtrack of our lives’. Who hasn’t listened to a song and was immediately transported into a world of emotions and memories. Music has the power to touch our souls and to make us feel many different emotions such as happiness, excitement, joy, and sadness.
Music’s healing powers have been the subject of many researches and they have concluded that music not only improves our memory and brain function, it also can lower stress and anxiety, make us happier, lower blood pressure, slow our heartbeat and so on. But the most grandiose benefit of music is that it is divine. It has the ability to keep us alive in very difficult times. Being lodged away in our minds, no one has the power to take music’ s infliction from us.
The most compelling story I ever encountered concerning this ‘miracle’ was that of Alice Sommer- Henz a pianist from Prague who survived the Theresienstadt concentration camp in Czechoslovakia during the Nazi Occupation. Her beautiful vision of life and how music has saved her from being killed is quite compelling. Although the prisoners were not really fed and lived in atrocious conditions, the musicians were the ones who were the most optimistic about surviving the death camps and to refuse accepting its horrors. The Nazis could take everything for Sommer-Henz but music remained untouchable in her mind. It was her paradise within hell. Knowing that she would play at night , even if it was for the Nazis, was her saving grace.
Words cannot express what this woman and her family went through but the lesson she left the world are even more powerful than her survival itself. Her life is a service to anyone who is going through a strenuous period in their life. The healing power of music is true wisdom and if you let yourself be carried by its melodies it will touch your heart and change you forever. Thank you Alice Samson-Herts for inspiring all of us to see beauty everywhere. Your courage and strength as well as your belief in the healing power of music will never be forgotten.