Self-touted Musical Pharmacologist, Vera Brandes believes that music has healing, maybe even curative powers, and she’s designing clinical trials to prove her point. In her practice a patient would receive a diagnosis, be given music specifically composed for that ailment (she says that listening to music you are familiar with doesn’t work), and prescribed a listening regimen. While it sounds far fetched to me, there is no denying it would be vastly more pleasant than chemo.
Even if music does not have the power to cure, it can transport and put into sound what often cannot be said in words.
You may know Matthew Zachary as the founder of the I’m Too Young For This Foundation, but how many of you knew he was on the track to becoming a concert pianist before he was diagnosed with brain cancer at 21?
Numbness in his left hand was the first symptom. Throughout his treatment, Matthew composed music in his mind. (I can relate to this quite well because I choreograph dances in my head non-stop.) After surgery and debilitating radiation treatment, he began using his hand again. Although his hand never returned to its pre-cancer mobility, he went on to record three albums, two of which related to his cancer experience.
After a ten year break, Matthew is playing a solo concert in New York on April 11. Matthew says, “Playing music is cathartic, an emotional release, a steam valve. It improves the quality of my life and helps me re-anchor to my first true passion. But I don’t mean to be therapeutic – if that is what the audience gets out of it for themselves that is fine. To me playing music shows that everyone has the potential to get what they want out of life given the crap they are dealt.”
Has your cancer diagnosis, or another illness ever interrupted a creative part of your life? Have you returned to it? Do you find art to be healing? Do you ever consider it to be your medicine?
Seating is limited for Matthew’s concert. Reserve your tickets here.