Music tells stories, soothes emotions and breathes new energy into every fiber of your being. When music tickles the little hair cells in the inner ear, surprisingly, pain dissipates.

One day, as a patient at Mt Sinai hospital in NYC, a hospital aide entered my room and asked me to get out of bed so she could change my sheets. I grabbed my IV pole, my new best friend, that carried two bags of nutritional supplements and supplied a hook for my left arm. The artery that once lived in my forearm was reassigned to provide a blood supply from my carotid to the graft on my tongue. Elevation was required.

I hobbled over to my boom box in which rested a cassette of my favorite music, Broadway tunes. When I pushed the ‘play’ button on the cassette player, immediately, a new world opened up. The Tin Man in the Broadway show The Wiz was singing directly to me:


“Slide some oil to me. Let it slip down my spine.
Standing here in one position, sure can make one tired.
Slip some to my elbows, and my fingers if you would.
Come on and slide some oil to me girl, ooooh does that feel good.”

A close-to-pitch sound traveled over my reshaped tongue to fill the room. The grafts on my leg stretched uncomfortably when walking, but while swaying to music, I felt no pain. My right arm had free rein. The aide began to join me and danced around the corners of the bed, tucking in the sheets. “You go girl,” she repeated.

Music is an invaluable gift. It can turn a moment of utter pain, into a moment of pleasure. The brain is programmed to deliver feelings of happiness when we listen to music. My feelings of despair turned into optimism as soon as the Tin Man sang his song. The lyrics and beat transported me to a place of joy and hope. So, turn up the music and allow the vibrations to take you to your happy place. Seize every opportunity to use those sweet melodies to deliver joy!

Comment below with your stories about music dramatically changing your mood, or how music was used in a hospital setting to uplift. The next video in the Speaker Stories Soundbite Series is a story about scars – and don’t we all have them! Be sure to subscribe to receive the blog in your inbox. As a Motivational Speaker and Master Storyteller, I’m always looking for new opportunities to share my inspirational messages. Your suggestions are welcome! Please comment below.

This is part 1 of my soundbite series from a keynote presentation in Brighton, UK. Part 2 coming soon!

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