A Little Music in Our Lives

by Peggy Welker, PLPA Publicity Chairperson  

Port Ludlow Performing Art’s 2020-2021 season represents 30 years of bringing music and entertainment to Port Ludlow.  However, at this moment, we cannot tell you if that season will even happen.  A quick review of Governor Inslee’s plan to reopen Washington indicates that gatherings of greater than 50 people will happen in phase IV.  Of course, the big unknown is when phase IV will occur.

As we hang around home trying to figure out how to stay engaged and in a positive frame of mind, let’s not underestimate the value of music in our lives to keep us motivated and feeling good!  A growing body of research attests that music therapy is more than a nice perk. It can improve medical outcomes and quality of life and is currently being used in medicine in a variety of ways such as: easing anxiety and discomfort during procedures; restoring lost speech; reducing side effects of cancer therapy; helping with physical therapy and rehabilitation; aiding pain relief and improving quality of life for people with dementia.

Henry Wadsworth Longfellow wrote, “Music is the universal language of mankind.” Scientists at Harvard have just published the most comprehensive scientific study to date on music which supports the American poet’s pronouncement.  They found that, across societies, music is associated with behaviors such as infant care, healing, dance, and love (among many others, like mourning, warfare, processions, and ritual). Examining lullabies, healing songs, dance songs, and love songs in particular, they discovered that songs that share behavioral functions tend to have similar musical features.

Personally, I have to fight the “lazy genes”, and the surefire way to do that is to turn on some great music.  A brisk walk is something I actually look forward to while listening to the Jason Miraz radio station through my headphones.  My love of Zumba is 90% about the music and 10% about the exercise.  So, the next time you are doing housework or yardwork, taking a walk, working on a puzzle, enjoying a glass of wine, or any other activity, tune in to your favorite music, and I guarantee it will improve the enjoyment of your activity.

As soon as our current situation allows, PLPA will resume bringing great music to Port Ludlow and the surrounding areas, and once again focus on our outreach mission of providing musical opportunities to the local schools.  Thank you for all your support and patience.  Stay happy and healthy so we can all look forward to a time when we can once again enjoy music together!