Music has deeply touched me. 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 wasn’t 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 types of research, 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 can keep us alive in tough 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- Herz 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 fed and lived in atrocious conditions, the musicians were the ones who were the most optimistic about surviving the death camps and surmounting its horrors. The Nazis could take everything for Sommer-Herz but music remained untouchable in her mind. It was her paradise in hell. Knowing that she would play at night, even if it were 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 is even more potent than her survival itself. Her life is a service to anyone who is going through a difficult period in their life. The healing power of music is pure wisdom, and if you let its melodies carry yourself, 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.