Love Warms The Heart: Linda’s Story

Linda records vocals during music therapy 

Love Warms the Heart
Through February skies, cold and grey
Silvery moonbeams find their way
Mid-winter strikes with a chilling display
But love warms the heart

Icy winds deliver their sting
And pangs of loneliness they bring
Icicles glisten and a lone bird sings
That love warms the heart

Then icicles melt and skies turn blue
Frosty fields yield to morning dew
Warm breezes bring me thoughts of you
Your love has warmed my heart

This beautiful song was written and recorded by Linda, a patient here on Magee’s SCI unit. Since early in her time here, Linda has been a regular participant in the Music Therapy program.

“When I first found out I was having music therapy, I wasn’t sure what I’d be doing,” Linda says. “But each session becomes a separate entity of its own.”

Linda has a history of singing choir music but had never thought of herself as a songwriter. As the Christmas season was approaching, however, Linda was lamenting that her friends and family lived so far away and were not able to visit as often as they’d like.

During a music therapy group led by Music Therapist John Glaubitz, she hit upon a meaningful way to connect with those who could not physically be close at that special time of year.

“Somebody threw out an idea in a group therapy session that we should write a Christmas song,” Linda says. “So I took that seriously. With John’s help, we discovered my range of voice. It had originally only been maybe one note, but now I was able to do an octave. And so I built my Christmas song around that octave so that I could sing it. And that song was relatively easy to do. The words just came out and the tune just seemed to match the words.”

Linda composed lyrics above and a melody. John helped her to add an instrumental accompaniment, record the song, and print a copy of the sheet music. The song was a great success and was enjoyed by Linda’s friends and family as well as other patients and staff here at Magee. Linda’s granddaughter loved the song and asked her to sing it when she came to visit.

So when Valentine’s Day came around, Linda decided to try again. Linda again developed lyrics and a melody, this time with help from her daughters, and again John helped to add instrumentation.

“We chose a February theme,” Linda says. “When I think of February, I always think that at home it was the coldest month, and the month that brought the most snow. And so I wanted the words in the song to give the listeners that same sense of iciness and winds. The words did fit my image of February. But along with the icy winds and the mid-winter chill, there’s always the warmth of the heart. And what is it that warms the heart? Love. So no matter how cold it is, or how much snow surrounds us, or how icy the branches are, there’s always a warmth inside me. And it’s love that warms the heart. And so while the main theme of the song may be the iciness and the chilly winds … the one that warms each of us and keeps its glow no matter what the weather outside may be, is love.”

To learn more about the Music Therapy program at Magee, click here.

Guest Author: Music Therapy Department

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