How I Discovered the Miracle of Music
A terrible thing could happen to you on your way to reading this narrative. A heart attack, a cerebral hemorrhage, a stroke, or an accident could leave the left side of your brain incapable of its communication functions, leaving you without the ability to be a reader,
writer, speaker or comprehensive listener.
Research has shown that, fortunately, the right side of your brain could take on some of those functions – particularly when it comes to communicating through music and singing.
When I moved to the White Sands La Jolla senior community in 2008, I was attracted to the activities in the Assisted Living and Memory Care areas. I particularly enjoyed the music and poetry presentations.
I volunteered to lend my voice and oral presentations to these groups and to their Activity Directors. It was then that I discovered the miracle of music, the marvelous musical memories that most seniors have. I observed patients who were incapable of telling you their names or whereabouts, yet, through the magic of music could engage in sing-alongs. Some responded to the rhythm by tapping their feet or clapping their hands. Others, miraculously, sang the words that were buried deep in their memories. I was inspired by patients’ enjoyment of music and poetry and learned how research on the brain and music is explaining the significance of the music I was experiencing.
Word spread among Activity Directors in the San Diego area of my interest and ability, and I was invited to lead sing-alongs in other senior living residences. I became known as “Grandpa John, the sing-along man” and have been offering my services ever since.
John Meyer, aka Grandpa John