Music and Healing: Thoughts after the Sandy Hook Shootings

Music is powerful stuff. Most people can attest to this. In times of extreme emotion, music can be one of the only things to truly give expression to the deepest emotions that we feel as humans.

Last week, one of the worst mass shootings in US history occurred in, of all places, an elementary school. While we as a country are still reeling from the news of this attack, trying to find answers to why something so horrible could happen, and what we can do to prevent it from happening again, music will be there to comfort us.

Music can be triumphant, seductive, playful, mournful, or childish. Music exemplifies the best of mankind and what we aspire to be. And most of all, we can turn to music for comfort in times of need. Whether it’s putting on your favorite CD for a quiet moment of reflection, or breaking out your old guitar and finding solace in strumming through a few songs, music will help us through. Two of the most emotional experiences for me this week have been seeing tributes done on Saturday Night Live and The Voice. The former consisted of a children’s choir singing Silent Night, and the latter a cast performance of Leonard Cohen’s Hallelujah. No words necessary, just music were enough to provide the perfect amount of reflection, grief, and comfort. If you missed either of these moving performances, you can find them here:

Saturday Night Live

The Voice

In the days and weeks to come, there will be many memorials for the victims in Newtown, CT. Music, I’m sure, will play a part in all of them. Music will bring us together in our grief and help us to remember the hope and joys that a cherished life possesses. It is in these moments most of all that I find an extreme pride in being a small part of the music world, which adds so much to life and the celebration of it.