I’ve been discussing the two main reasons I decided to become a music teacher. I started to share with you the story of my first “best friend.” It was the summer between my 4th/5th grade years. Here I am, nine-year-old me, and I just learned that my best friend Jay was struck by lightning. It didn’t kill him, BUT….. he was in a coma. What did a nine-year old back then (or even nowadays) know about a coma? That kind of stuff just wasn’t on tv or in movies back then and videos and YouTube weren’t in existence. Nothing but real events in my suddenly sad and very real life.
For days, my mom would hear from Jay’s mom. No. He’s still in a coma. He’s not responding. My mom tried to explain it as “Jay being in a very deep sleep.” But all I knew was he wasn’t waking up. Every day it was the same thing – still in a coma and no response. He was practically dead in my nine-year-old mind.
Finally, Jay’s mom called with a different message and question. The doctors asked her if Jay liked any particular type of music or group. She called to ask if she could borrow the album we listened to (over an over). Of course, my mother said, “Yes!” Jay’s mom took a record player and that album to the hospital and played it for several days. Can you guess what happened? Jay DID wake up!
Now I wish this all had a happily-ever-after storybook ending, but it doesn’t. Jay did indeed awake from that “deep sleep” coma but remained incapacitated for the rest of his short-lived life. My friend was never the same (at least on the outside) as he had been. But one very big lesson I learned – music has the power to wake the almost dead! It “saved” my friend and brought him back to life. This snapshot in time hooked me into the magical power of music. This was just the beginning of my endeavor to pass on, to not only my students but teachers all around the world, how music not only connects with our spirit and soul but has special “superhero” powers!