For many dealing with traumatic experiences, in order to heal, the word ‘music’ probably isn't the first thing that comes to mind, but local music therapist, Grant Howarth says something as simple as a song has the power to unite.
“So often we don’t realize where music affects us, or how music affects us," said Howarth.
Speaking about the vigil held Monday to honor those lives lost in Orlando he added, "The feeling that night was to help us cope and build that atmosphere of hope coming out of tragedy.”
The Nacogdoches community watched people from all walks of life unite after the events in Florida, and Dr. Lauren Brewer an SFASU Phycologist who is also from Orlando was in awe of how the community came together.
“Well the Mr. Rodgers quote comes to mind that says in times of tragedy, look for the helpers, and I always add on, 'and if you can- be a helper',” says Dr. Brewer.
Howarth who works at Lufkin’s Heart to Heart Hospice is doing just that, helping patients as a music therapist. He said a melody has the ability to transform a desolate situation.
“The power of music is beautiful it can affect us in ways we don’t understand,” said Howarth.
Dr. Brewer expanded on the universal language of music and how it can relate to the masses.
“The same notes the same melody, speaks to people differently, so I think one of the beauties is that people can get from it what they need,” said Dr. Brewer.
Brewer said that when she heard about the news in Orlando she couldn’t believe something like that could happen in her own hometown, but from leaning on others she finds peace and gives advice during this difficult time.
“If I could give advice it would be to do something where you are around other people because in these times of stress we get great healing and comfort from other people,” Brewer said.
Howarth holds over 1,200 hours of clinical experience in musical therapy and agrees that when his own Heart to Heart Health patients are dealing with their own trauma he feels music has the ability to make a difference.
“You know, that’s not the masses, that’s an individual, and I have the opportunity to go in and talk to the family and to the patient and say, ‘Okay, what can I do for you today?’ and that gives me such peace,” Howarth says.
A message of hope he brought to Nacogdoches on Monday where he shared some of the same songs he sings to his own patients,
“Music gives me purpose and I am able to bring that purpose into other people’s lives and help them heal and help them grow,” said Howarth
If you or a loved one is looking to use music therapy as a way to cope in a traumatic experience you can contact the only available program in the area at, http://www.hearttohearthospice.com/
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