Lift Every Voice and Sing!

Music, sung together in a group, raises us up in so many ways. Science has shown us that it can bring our breathing and heartbeats into alignment. And we know that it hooks directly to our feelings and our memories. Oliver Sacks has shown that when dementia patients seem to be lost to us, if we hook them up to music from their younger years, they come back to us. At least for a little while. Music is like a superhighway providing instant access to our past selves.

You’ve experienced it, for sure. When a song comes on the radio from a different time in your life, you are in touch with that old you. First love. First heartbreak. First slow dance. There you are again – anew.

When you put that phenomenon into a group context, the experience can be exponentially more profound. When you sing a hymn or a rallying song of resistance, not only do you feel connected to the full you – but your sense of self expands to the size of the crowd. The feeling of oneness with a group is one of the most exhilarating human experiences because, in truth, we are part of a greater whole. 

So it would be wonderful if we all had a habit of singing together. To soften up those boundaries. Flex those connection muscles.

Here are a couple of articles you might find interesting. Enjoy. 

Churchgoers aren’t able to lift every voice and sing during the pandemic – here’s why that matters

Power of music – 30 minute video that walks you through the science and application of music in our lives.


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  1. Carl Graffam says:

    I witnessed the power of music to “bring someone back” at a summer band concert where an elderly lady was brought by her family. She was sitting in a wheelchair looking down at the ground not appearing to even know where she was. The band began an oldie and she started singing along. It was truly moving. The director was very touched and encouraged the whole audience to sing along. I will never forget that moment.

    1. SusanAdam says:

      These stories make me tear up. Makes you wish that all these dear old folks could make trips back – at least a few times.Thanks for sharing the story.