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Thread: Alive Inside

  1. #1
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    Default Alive Inside

    There is no mandolin content here, but anyone with an appreciation of the power of music is likely to be touched by this movie. Just watched it on Netflix last night and highly recommend it. Here's a clip from the movie. It's stuff like this, the stories we hear about how music saves people and makes lives better, that's just one of the reasons why we run this site.


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    Default Re: Alive Inside

    If you have ever played in a nursing home you see how music affects people. I will be playing in one on Friday. It is a good feeling.

    Thanks Scott for sharing.
    THE WORLD IS A BETTER PLACE JUST FOR YOUR SMILE!

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    Mandolin Friendly Mark Gunter's Avatar
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    Default Re: Alive Inside

    That documentary moved me when it came out on Netflix and I also had to share it here. Since then a couple more extremely interesting ones in the same vein: The rockumentary Glen Campbell: I'll Be Me and the fictional movie Of Mind And Music also on Netflix. Thanks for sharing this!
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    Default Re: Alive Inside

    Thoes who play at nursing homes know this happens. It is an amazing thing.

    Today I'm playing music from the 'old country' for some people who survived the Nazi death camps. I hope to see a particular woman over 100 years old. She will 'dance' around in her wheelchair and hum along with tunes she learned as a child. I could not ask for a better Hanukka gift.

    Thanks for the video. Music 'will save the world' indeed.

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    Isolated enthusiast Caleb's Avatar
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    Default Re: Alive Inside

    Thanks for posting. I play in nursing homes sometimes and it is a very rewarding experience.
    ...

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    Mike Story
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    Default Re: Alive Inside

    Great post, thanks. I just finished reading a book called "Waking the Spirit: A musician's journey healing body, mind and soul" by Andrew Schulman. Amazing true story of a classical guitarist who experienced the healing power of music himself and then went back to the hospital to practice what he learned on patience at the Surgical Intensive Care Unit (SICU). It includes a lot of information about WHY music can help heal the way it can. I highly recommend it to anyone thinking about using their talents to help others.

  10. #7

    Default Re: Alive Inside

    Some of the basic dynamics - (briefly explained in 'I remember better when I paint' - https://youtu.be/54AtoQVGfwU ) - are that regions of the brain involved in processing emotions are among the last to be affected in dementia (alzheimer's, etc). These cognitive functions, associated with emotions, are relatively intact even in later stages of disease; therefore, the capacity to apprehend phenomena such as music and symbolism is retained, and often enhanced - as other cognitive functions involving reasoning, logic, etc which we rely upon in normative daily life, and often suppress or inhibit 'symbolic/artistic' thinking, diminish - in later stages of disease.

    I've worked fairly extensively with music in this cohort, and have observed these processes and effects first hand routinely and often.

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    Default Re: Alive Inside

    I play maybe 100 seniors' residences annually, and can testify to the fact that familiar music can reach people who seem otherwise unresponsive. I look at the audience and see lips moving along with the words, although the "singing" is inaudible. Makes it worthwhile to play You Are My Sunshine for the uncounted-thousandth time.
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    Default Re: Alive Inside

    One of my favorite experiences was playing at a nursing home and watching a 90+ lady get up in her walker and dance while we played the Folsom Prison Blues. It doesn't get any better than that.
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    Default Re: Alive Inside

    Our group was playing a small party at a local nursing home recently. One of the attendees was a 93-year-old woman with severe arthritis. She could hardly move. When we played, she raised her head and continuously tapped her foot. When we finished, she put her head back down and never moved again until she was taken back to her room.
    Last edited by DHopkins; Dec-28-2016 at 8:38pm. Reason: correct spelling
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    Default Re: Alive Inside

    I've played nursing homes and have similar gratifying stories. I also worked in nursing homes when I was a podiatrist. One home had an elderly woman who never said a word, even when talked to, basically just sat there staring into space. One day she got up, hobbled over to the dining room piano and started to play the heck out of that thing! It was one of the more amazing things I've ever experienced.
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    Default Re: Alive Inside

    We've played in assisted living, and some tenants will listen expressionless, but take the time to approach us after the set to express their gratitude for making their day so much better. Our best experience was with an autistic child, who's therapist told us about the responsiveness to a session was amazing after listening to us. Prompted us to play for an autism school for the holidays. The influence of music manifest itself in wonderful ways. I would suggest that all who have the opportunity to donate their time to a worthy cause, and bring happiness to somebody's life through music, do so. The rewards are not measurable. Happy Hollidays!
    Last edited by Dan Adams; Dec-29-2016 at 7:40pm. Reason: Spelling
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  21. #13
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    Default Re: Alive Inside

    What a great video, thanks so much for sharing that!
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    Default Re: Alive Inside

    I don't make it out as often as I like, but it's become a christmas time tradition - on Christmas day. This year I had a foot of snow to shovel before hand..

    Folks at this stage of life often lose inhibition - allowing great joy and communion with the music. I like when they roll up close, their heads cocked to one side and often wearing intensely concentrated expressions, waving their hands or arms about 'conducting' the music (a la Dexter Gordon in 'Awakenings'). It's a real joy to see folks really listening, experiencing, dancing..

  23. #15

    Default Re: Alive Inside

    Btw, I'd like to ask all of you (us) to possibly reflect on what music/sound means; how it affects those we love, and all of humanity. It's a 'medicine' - perhaps not in our conventional sense - but very potent to the soul. Our memories, which stir the soul, are effected through music and the senses.

    It does not necessarily matter to what degree our level of proficiency to work through music: a person is enough; a person bearing a musical instrument is a profound gift. Share a gift.

    *Think global, act local

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    Mandolin Friendly Mark Gunter's Avatar
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    Default Re: Alive Inside

    Quote Originally Posted by catmandu2 View Post
    Btw, I'd like to ask all of you (us) to possibly reflect on what music/sound means
    According to Michio Kaku, music is the mind of God.

    From about 4:30 ...
    "God is a mathematician. And when you read the mind of God, we actually have a candidate for the mind of God. The mind of God we believe is cosmic music, the music of strings resonating through 11 dimensional hyperspace. That is the mind of God."

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    Default Re: Alive Inside

    We played a home yesterday and one enthusiastic individual in a wheel chair with a prosthetic limb came right up an sat with us and danced in her chair. This is a worthwhile and rewarding thing to do for all who can.
    THE WORLD IS A BETTER PLACE JUST FOR YOUR SMILE!

  27. #18

    Default Re: Alive Inside

    Music has a way of embedding itself in the brain. Back when California had close to the top educational system, we used to have a music teacher come into the first, second and third grad classrooms and play piano, yes one in each classroom, and we would sing songs. To this day, five decades later, when noodling around, these songs come pouring out of my subconscious. My Bonnie Lies Over the Ocean, Skip to My Lou, Cockles and Muscles, Streets of Laredo, Billie Boy, etc. Between that and singing in the church choir, things got truly and deeply embedded to surface at some random time and place. I can see where it would be a trigger for someone with dementia.
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    Default Re: Alive Inside

    Quote Originally Posted by Br1ck View Post
    To this day, five decades later, when noodling around, these songs come pouring out of my subconscious. My Bonnie Lies Over the Ocean, Skip to My Lou, Cockles and Muscles, Streets of Laredo, Billie Boy, etc.
    Similar experience here. My music teacher in Grade 4 (circa 1984) taught us songs like this, and just today as I played guitar I found myself singing Down In The Valley all these years later. I'm not sure how many modern children know songs like this anymore, but I'm glad someone taught some of them to me.
    ...

  29. #20

    Default Re: Alive Inside

    Absolutely amazing. Thank you for sharing!
    "Music produces a kind of pleasure which human nature cannot do without." - Confucius
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    Registered User Martin Ohrt's Avatar
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    Default Re: Alive Inside

    A very touching video... Music is so much more than just sounds - sometimes, music seems like magic to me.
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    Default Re: Alive Inside

    I also play some nursing homes each month, and have observed the pleasure that music has brought to them. I remember one lady in particular. I watched her for about 30 minutes, and I wondered why the staff had brought a comatose woman to our session. Suddenly, I realized that she was tapping a single finger in time to the music. Now I understood. I later learned that hearing is the last sense to leave us, and all those people who I thought were "unresponsive," really weren't. Four of us played under the window of a friend who was hours away from death. He had lost the ability to communicate, but his wife said that when we started playing, he was tapping his fingers to the beat. I will never again treat a gig in a nursing home lightly.
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    Default Re: Alive Inside

    Scott! Thank you, you rock pretty hard Sir!

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    Default Re: Alive Inside

    I play in two nursing homes a total of 3 dates per month. I tease the patients that they don't have a choice but to come and hear me each time! At this point in my life, it is nearly the only gig I have but it is my favorite. The thing is, the music is just a part of these visits. We get to know the patients and staff as friends. I am glad my father, who was also a singer/guitarist, sang for nursing homes for 30 years in addition to playing in clubs. When I retired, I decided to follow in his footsteps. What a rewarding activity. Our friends in these extended care facilities do more for my wife and I than we do for them!
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    Default Re: Alive Inside

    Even as he approached the later stages of Alzheimer's music still got an animated response from my dad - his eyes lit up, fingers and toes tapped, he smiled. Big Band music from the 30's and 40's did the trick - Glenn Miller, Tommy Dorsey, Benny Goodman, Count Basie, Les Brown and more. Before he stopped speaking he used to tell me, "Now son, that's music!"
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