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.
2 Replies to “Sharing”
Thank you for your thoughtful post. I’d be curious to hear more about your struggle with identifying as a musician. I don’t think of myself as a performer either, but I know I am a musician first. I’m always curious about how MTs reconcile those roles.
Hi Rachelle, thank you for your comment. I have struggled with identifying myself as a musician because, for some reason, I have considered musicians as those musical people who are spectacular at theory, for instance, or who can write songs with ease. In short, my difficulty lies more in my inability to accept that “musician” can mean any number of things; my definitions for those things I do and try to achieve are often unattainable for me in this moment– I cannot consider myself a musician until I conquer this personal songwriting goal, i.e. I’m working on it! 🙂