More Examples of Alive Inside

After my post the other day about Alive Inside (about music bringing people back to life) I remembered a section in Oliver Sacks’s book Musicophilia. He’s describing a group of music therapy patients, people who were like the man in the video I posted yesterday. They are largely uncommunicative and leading what seems to be the saddest, quietest, most solitary existence. Until the therapist starts singing.

“One or two people, perhaps, start to sing along, others join then, and soon the entire group—many of them virtually speechless before—is singing together, as much as they are able to. ‘Together’ is a crucial term, for a sense of community takes hold, and these patients who seem incorrigibly isolated by their disease and dementia are able, at least for a while, to recognize and bond with others.”

It sounds like it’s as dramatic as the man in the video. Another reason to sing as long as you can.

Protesters in Union Square.

Stacy Horn

I've written six non-fiction books, the most recent is Damnation Island: Poor, Sick, Mad, and Criminal in 19th-Century New York.

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