Music Bridging the Gap


“Love in any language Straight from the heart Pulls us all together Never apart
And once we learn to speak it All the world will hear Love in any language Fluently spoken here” Sandi Patty

 

Throughout my life it has been music that has saved me from the insanity of life’s happenings.  Music has been a vital part of my day.  It has calmed me, allowed me to express emotions that I could otherwise not readily connect with, and it has allowed me to create wonderful things.  There is one other wonderful thing about music: it is an equalizer.

My earliest memory of music is of my father playing the piano.  I grew up hearing Grieg, Rachmaninoff, Mendelsohn, and countless others.  Music was sometimes what I would drift off to sleep with.  Music was also the chance for me to sing.  I couldn’t do many things as a toddler but I could carry a tune.  I was singing before I could talk or walk.  Because of my father’s music background I was tested for absolute pitch or perfect pitch as it is more popularly known.  I don’t quite have that but I’m not far off from it. Considering the fact that I also have the hearing loss this isn’t too shabby.  I’m proud of what I can do with music, and that I’m good enough to sing with is a string quartet.  It would be great to sing with an orchestra.  What a blast that would be!!!!

I’ve sung in Italian, German, Spanish and Latin.  Music is a way of universal communication.    Music, when done well, can shine as an example of any language and the beauty that is contains.  I am discovering that there are beautiful recordings in the Dutch language.  When I listen to them the guttural Dutch becomes a thing of wonder.  When the singer sculpts the words well there is an understanding that bridges the gap.  Just like the “I love you” that is spoken in any language the meaning cannot be misconstrued.  So “love in any language” becomes “music in any language.”

Music is the one thing that anyone can do!!!  Think about it for a minute.  You can teach someone to carry a tune and match the note.  You don’t have to teach a child to open their mouth and sing.  Singing comes naturally.  Intelligence and physical ability are not factors here.  Music is everyone’s gift of being heard.

Bridges to the heart

Throughout my life there have been other bridges.  One of the most powerful of those bridges has been volunteerism.  During my my life I have been both the volunteer and the person on the receiving end.  Both sides of the process are filled with positive feelings.

There are many ways of giving.  Some commit to careers of service to others.   Many people choose to give to an organization that represents something meaningful to them.

As I stop to think about the process that my “future guide dog” will have gone through the first phase of that is the volunteer family who will take “my Eyelette” into their home and love and play with him or her.  What a gift!!!! Taking the time and the love to raise up a playful puppy in a healthy manner so that it can become a healthy guide dog!!!!

There is someone here at the Loo Erf who came in as a volunteer and he has affected me.  He loves what he does.  It shows.  The tricks and tips and encouragement that he has given me are gifts.  It is a treat to have a braille lesson or a Dutch session with him.  Personally I think he has given this place a piece of his heart in the last 10 years.  It shows.

When I was in my 20’s I spent time doing an internship that involved those with mental illness.  I gave several hours per week to those who needed and in return I received a new view of life.  They taught me to laugh in a new way.  They taught me understanding.  I learned so much from each of them.  I still think of them and wonder where they are now.

We used to watch one of the Animal rescue shows.  Many of the animals were depressed and beaten down but with the love and help of volunteers they became “cute animals” and we renamed the show “cute animals.”  Volunteers are great!!!!  Volunteers change lives.

My Pitch:

Think about giving some of your time.  The rewards are phenomenal.  The sacrifice is well worth what the recipient will return to you in love and appreciation.   Get out there on the web and Google up your loves because somewhere out there someone needs you to give to them.

 

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About Gail Nicolaysen-Shurtleff

I am an American who is living in The Netherlands. I am a Marriage and Family Therapist with a license to practice in California. Music has been a huge part of my life. Singing is something you can find me doing at any time and anywhere. I have to admit that I try to not sing while out in public though. You can also find me in the kitchen cooking up wonderful things. cooking is something that I have just recently (in the last ten years) discovered that I'm talented at doing, and it is really fun. The best way to know me is to read my blog.
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