Music is The Best Medicine

Music is The Best Medicine

Most of us can agree on one thing – music is therapy – both personally and communally.  It makes us feel. I’ve got my own set of go-to tunes that I cycle through to augment my reality.  I allow music to play at my heartstrings; Annie Lennox brings up the romance as does Shelby Lynne, Bruce ramps up my jogging pace and Van Morrison deepens my connections. Yoga, sex and dinner parties are better with music. So are funerals. Generations blend as singing Christmas Carols at a favorite annual party connects all ages in the room–when tone-deaf voices are usually blended in with the melodious ones. Music quiets the inner chatter, and as I sing in my car (alone) my serotonin fire is lit.

Music can actually make a sad mood feel lighter so it’s no surprise we turn it on and turn it up when disaster strikes.

The concert of 12/12/12 last week was the healing medicine for a natural disaster. Miraculously the space at Madison Square Garden was cleared for that magical date. (Lord only knows how there wasn’t some event or game already booked.) The rock stars carved space in their calendars – this concert was a high priority. The concert of 12/12/12 made us pause for one special evening.

The very Sandy that blew through our homes and lives and dismembered us — united us. The concert’s message was clearly and beautifully delivered, the music softened our hearts, lifted our spirits, united our cause and opened our pocketbooks. We could not ignore that New York is still living the effects of Sandy.

The Robin Hood Foundation mastered music as charity ingeniously. Their powerful charity model wed event to technology and drew us into the experience so we couldn’t help but feel the power music had on our desire to get involved and give. We were moved seamlessly along the path from dancing to donating. Reaching into our pockets with a keystroke on our phones sent a flood of dollars in the right direction. Check writing, snail mail and handwritten thank you notes suddenly felt so last year.

No better placeholder for our youth than when the Boomer rock stars took to the stage. When Billy Joel started playing “Piano Man” at 12/12/12 I was transported back to my college bar in Boulder, Colorado. But happily we’ve moved forward from those days.  As I watched the 12/12/12 concert from my bedroom I thought about the power of technology and how reachable we all are.

There’s no question fundraising aligned with technology creates a steady stream of giving. Twitter fuels the process.  Everyone checks in and wants to have an opinion. From Kanye’s skirt to Paul McCartney front manning as the legendary group Nirvana reunited, not to mention how Bruce sets us all atwitter – everyone has an opinion. Twitter feeds are a self-perpetuating machine and everyone wants to get on board.

The natural disasters we’ve witnessed in 2012 have been remarkable. This disaster evoked a global response. People want to make a difference and the concert showed us how we can.

Paul McCartney closed the concert into the wee hours saying, “When he heard there was going to be a concert – I wanted to do my bit and give something back. Any time there’s a natural disaster we all sympathize – this was more than a bad storm and it’s still leaving people without homes.”

So even after the rock stars left the stage – we are all able to still do our bit. We are just one text away from helping and the music has moved us to hit the send button.

Click here to help bring on the heat and warmth to the victims of Sandy. (P.S. The Robin Hood Foundation’s board picks up 100% of the administrative costs so all your donations go directly to the relief effort)


To watch the 12/12/12 video click here:


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Felice Shapiro

Felice Shapiro Felice Shapiro loves figuring out what's next. Felice writes with honesty and humor about real life events, romance, tragedy, reinvention and family not to mention — fashion, beauty & travel. As a serial entrepreneur in the publishing space, she launched to meet the needs of women entering their next phase at 50. Inspired and armed with her love of publishing, writing, start-ups and women’s issues, Shapiro launched an online magazine for 50-something women to share personal stories, successes and relevant issues. She is proud of BA50 which is in its 4th year and has over 7 million unique visitors. 

  4 comments for “Music is The Best Medicine

  1. December 18, 2012 at 4:05 pm

    I thought it was terrific that all these great musicians came together for this cause.

  2. felice
    December 18, 2012 at 4:15 pm

    Janie –

    I did too – but was amazing to me was how the technology ramped up the giving -i am hoping this same technology can make a difference in our Gun Laws too as people click through to their congresspeople and push them to make a change

  3. December 18, 2012 at 5:46 pm

    I missed the whole thing, so am pleased to have a link. I do agree about the power of music. My play list is varied. Bonnie Raitt speaks to me of love and longing and place. Taj Mahal gets me moving. Thanks for sharing the link as well as your experiences of this—it’s nice to be reminded of the power we have when we come together to ‘do good’.

  4. felice
    December 20, 2012 at 7:56 pm

    i love hearing which play lists people use to choreograph their lives — fun to read yours

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