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7 years ago  ::  Nov 23, 2007 - 9:18AM #1
Spirit-Wind
Posts: 308
I love to play guitar and sing.  For years I have been blessed with singing/playing old fashioned church hymns in nursing homes.  I find that this is a power form of music therapy, as well as worship.  Music triggers emotional memories in powerful ways.  I particularly love to do this on the Alzheimer's units.  You can see the folks singing along because they know every word.  I love that this provides spiritual comfort.  I suspect these old songs bring back childhood memories....perhaps a first kiss at a church picnic.  You get the drift.  Does anyone else use music as therapy for others?

(Hey, it is therapy for me too!)
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7 years ago  ::  Nov 26, 2007 - 10:08AM #2
KatherineOrthodixie
Posts: 3,689
In my former church, we had a lady with Alzheimer's. Most of the time she didn't know what planet she was on, but she remembered the words to all the "old" hymns, the Lord's Prayer and the Creed, and on some level, she certainly knew she was in church.
“The Law of the Church is to give oneself to what is given not to seek one’s own.” Fr. Alexander Schmemann
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7 years ago  ::  Dec 09, 2007 - 3:41PM #3
ChristianaY
Posts: 71
I believe in music therapy, because when I was battling panic attacks, hearing those hyms and other Christian music had a soothing effect on me and gave me hope!
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7 years ago  ::  Dec 10, 2007 - 9:42AM #4
Spirit-Wind
Posts: 308
In former times I was highly critical of much theology of popular hymns.  I've changed.  Now I do not seek theology in the written words, but on the faces of those singing the hymns.  This is especially true in long term care communities (nursing homes). 

ChristianaY - I agree.  Music therapy is powerful!
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7 years ago  ::  Dec 12, 2007 - 9:38PM #5
GreenEyedLady
Posts: 40
I certainl understand this as you are reaching out to those who do not respond to much other stimuli, but as you said, they are touched by something old, familiar an comforting in the hymns.
I love the theology in old hymns, and use them fro devotions. I collect old hymn books, and love to find unfamiliar hymns that have wonderful messages.
A great site for finding hymns with lyrics appropriate to certain themes or messages, or occasions, is  www.cyberhymnal.org     You can hear a simple version of the melody as well.
God bless you in ministering to the elderly and/or infirm.
Jill
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7 years ago  ::  Dec 27, 2007 - 7:28PM #6
frjimod
Posts: 23
I sing at nursing homes too . Two local nursing homes have monthly Catholic Mass for the Catholics(and any others who care to come) with Communion brought to the rooms of the bed-ridden and anointing and Confession for those Catholics in need or who want the Sacraments.

Amazing grace ,Ave Maria,Eagles Wings,O Lord I am not Worthy,Holy God We praise Thy Name are popular requests and this time of year we get requests for carols like Angels We have Heard on High

Among the hymns that comfort or challenge me personally are: Be Still My Soul,Once To Every Man and Nation,Take My Life and Let It Be,Jesus, The Lover of My Soul, to name just a few.

Music .especially hymns, are so important to my prayer life

We sang the Trisagion(Agios O Theos) in English,Greek,Slavonic and Arabic for an Eastern Orthodox Christian woman at one nursing home.
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7 years ago  ::  Dec 27, 2007 - 7:39PM #7
frjimod
Posts: 23
In addition to www. Cyberhymnal.com, i enjoy www.oremushymnal.com and www.hymnsite.com
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7 years ago  ::  Dec 27, 2007 - 7:28PM #8
frjimod
Posts: 23
I sing at nursing homes too . Two local nursing homes have monthly Catholic Mass for the Catholics(and any others who care to come) with Communion brought to the rooms of the bed-ridden and anointing and Confession for those Catholics in need or who want the Sacraments.

Amazing grace ,Ave Maria,Eagles Wings,O Lord I am not Worthy,Holy God We praise Thy Name are popular requests and this time of year we get requests for carols like Angels We have Heard on High

Among the hymns that comfort or challenge me personally are: Be Still My Soul,Once To Every Man and Nation,Take My Life and Let It Be,Jesus, The Lover of My Soul, to name just a few.

Music .especially hymns, are so important to my prayer life

We sang the Trisagion(Agios O Theos) in English,Greek,Slavonic and Arabic for an Eastern Orthodox Christian woman at one nursing home.
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7 years ago  ::  Dec 27, 2007 - 7:39PM #9
frjimod
Posts: 23
In addition to www. Cyberhymnal.com, i enjoy www.oremushymnal.com and www.hymnsite.com
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6 years ago  ::  Jan 28, 2008 - 4:27PM #10
reg_ann
Posts: 1
I am an actual board certified Music Therapist, so yes music can be therapeutic.  For more information about music therapy please go to:  www.musictherapy.org  It is a valuable profession with specific training and education you must go through first.

Regan
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