For better health enjoy music. Music Therapy is accepted worldwide; it’s mentioned in the Bible; and a pioneer in its modern development is a Christian.
Ruth Bright (1972) discusses music to assist psychotherapy, motivation and socializing, as well as for brain damage, neurological disorders, orthopaedic disabilities, speech defects, respiratory diseases, stroke, and other disorders.
Reader’s Digest in “Music’s Surprising Power to Heal” (9/1992) mentions music therapy for pain, anxiety, depression, emotional and physical handicaps, and neurological disorders.
Case and Else (2003) describe music therapy for depression, autism and stroke and add: "Of, course, music therapy…has been with us for a couple of thousand years, but many people still class it as a Cinderella discipline. It has, however, achieved government recognition through the Health Professions Council of the UK and other parallel bodies worldwide."
Jane Lyons (2008) says: “Music
promise in helping dementia patients tune into reality.”
14 Now the spirit of the LORD
and an evil spirit from the LORD tormented him.
15 And Saul’s servants said to him, “See now an evil spirit from God is tormenting you.
16 Let our lord now command the servants who attend you to look for someone who is skilful in playing the lyre; and when the evil spirit from God is upon you, he will play it, and you will feel better.”
17 So Saul said to his servants, “Provide for me someone who can play well, and bring him to me.”
…23 And whenever the evil spirit from God came upon Saul, David took the lyre and played it with his hand, and Saul would be relieved and feel better, and the evil spirit would depart from him. (I Samuel 16:14-23)
Lyre-playing, however, did not
In the Bible “spirit” sometimes refers to supernatural beings, but only sometimes. The Hebrew ruach is also translated “wind”, “breath” and “mind”.
Ruach often refers to prevailing
For example we read: “spirit of jealousy”; “sorrowful spirit”; “every spirit shall faint”; “a new spirit”; “then shall his spirit change”; “follow their own spirit”; “erred in spirit”; “no rule over his own spirit”; “an excellent spirit”; “spirit of deep sleep”; “his spirit was troubled”; “patient in spirit”; “proud in spirit”; “spirit of Cyrus king of Persia”; “spirit of grace”; etc.
Saul’s problem, then, appears emotional.
What about the phrase “evil spirit from God”? Is the Bible teaching that God forces people to choose evil actions by implanting destructive emotional problems into their minds? No.
Job chapters 1 & 2 portrays “Satan” – a supernatural agency or “spirit” – as causing death, natural disasters, sickness and other mayhem. And God, in Job 1 & 2, is portrayed as permitting Satan to do such things.
Job interprets Satan’s detrimental impact as, “receiving…bad at the hand of God.” (2:10) The Bible, therefore, attributes to God everything, good or bad, that God permits. Put another way, the Bible teaches that God accepts part-responsibility for every evil he allows to happen. In that sense then, Saul’s “bad spirit” was “from the LORD” – because it was permitted or not prevented.
The Psalms in the Bible were originally set to music and sung. Many are prefixed with the words “a song”, “a psalm” or “with stringed instruments”.
Enjoyment of music and song together
“righteous” make for a flourishing old age:
1 It is good to give thanks to the
praises to your name, O Most High…
3 to the music of the lute and the harp, to the melody of the lyre.
4 For you, O LORD, have made me glad by your work; at the works of your hands I sing for joy…
12 The righteous flourish like the palm tree, and grow like a cedar in Lebanon…
14 In old age they still produce fruit; they are always green and full of sap… (Psalm 92)
The New Testament advises:
Bright was born in England in 1929,
in 1948, studied music in Melbourne, and in 1960 introduced music
In Adelaide there was a big psychiatric hospital with a thousand people all in locked up wards with only one social worker. It was awful…and I wondered whether there was something I could do with music there. The psychiatrist who interviewed me said he wanted music in the hospital but…linked to the treatment of the people… By working there I began to see myself as a therapist... (Wise Women’s World Website)
Later Bright wanted to find out if music is useful in stroke rehabilitation and did volunteer work. This led to her book Music in Geriatric Care (1972).
Yearly National Conferences of the Australian Association for Music Therapy started in 1975. A newspaper report about the Third National Conference (in Adelaide) said: “The Therapist…needs to have a wide understanding of all types of physical, mental and emotional disorders, be a capable musician and have tremendous compassion for the disadvantaged.”
Melbourne University established a degree in Music Therapy in 1978; The Australian Journal of Music Therapy began in 1990; and Australia had 160 registered music therapists in 2001.
In the Wise Women’s World
“Living a Christian life has always been an important part of being me.”
Bright, R. 1972 Music In Geriatric Care, Angus & Robertson
Case, E. & Else, L. New Scientist, 29 November, 2003, p. 43
Lyons, J. Music lifts dementia’s constant fog, The Weekend Australian, February 23-24, 2008, Health p. 16
Wigram, T. et al 2002 A Comprehensive