I had the privilege to participate in a Thanksgiving prayer service and hymn sing this afternoon at work. I provided some violin music and vocal leading of some of the hymns. I do enjoy using my violin whenever I can, and I was even able to play with the other music therapist in the facility. I was happy to be involved.
Though I do not consider myself a person of religion, I always feel compelled to listen to gospels and sermons and readings (unfortunately with a sometimes too-critical ear). The care center where I work is Catholic, and there is a priest who works there, but today’s service included a reading and reflection by an ordained minister who happens to work in IT. I hardly ever hear any of the priest’s readings, but I was really refreshed by this minister’s delivery of his message. He spoke about the importance of sharing — sharing of yourself with others, sharing your gifts, and sharing compassion. This message led me to consider how thankful I am (yes, I’m using that word on the eve of Thanksgiving) to be in a position where my purpose is to share.
I have had a long struggle with my ability to identify myself as a musician, and even if I were able to do so, what exactly it meant to me. However, I am most certainly a music therapist, and in that role, I provide and share the music I create to benefit others. I have not been able to reconcile how performing is important. I am able to believe, though, that providing music in a client-centered way is, in fact, useful. Special, even. I am relieved to report that I feel this way.
I am happy to be able to share.