«Oh, give thanks to the Lord/ Call upon His name; make known His deeds among the peoples/ Sino to Him, sing psalms to Him; talk of al/ His wondrous works» (Psalm 105: l, 2).
Music incorporates an elemental aspect of the culture of all civilisations. To a greater or lesser extent, it accompanies each human being and represents a tool through which one communicates and expresses emotions. At the same time, music influences the emotions, as there is a two-way relationship between them, even if its potential is barely known. Gary Ansdell, a notable professor and researcher at the University of Melbourne (Australia), in his book How Music Helps in Music Therapy and Everyday Life, underlines its importance as a way of improving one’s well-being. Psychotherapy, music, especially singing, are used as effective tools for the recovery of patients suffering from schizophrenia, dementia, Parkinson disease and other neurodegenerative diseases.
An experimental study carried out by music students discovered that people who were listening to cheerful music while sinking their arm in iced water tolerated pain much longer and described it as less severe than those who were listening to sad music. This means that music that is used properly can promote an emotional state that is able to superimpose on people in order to help them endure pain and physical decline.
The Book of Acts relates one instance when Paul and Silas used the power of singing in adverse situations. It was midnight and they were in the deepest hole of the Philippi prison, with their feet fastened to the stock, and severely injured as they were strongly beaten with rods. Without doubt, it was a situation of tremendous anxiety (Acts 16:22-25). Can there be a more difficult moment for singing? What consequences did the power of singing produce?
With their singing, the apostles brought hope in a solitary and dark place which was filled with sorrow and affliction. «Suddenly there was a great earthquake, so that the foundations of the prison were shaken; and immediately all the doors were opened and everyone’s chains were loosed» (v. 26). While they were singing, all the inmates were released but nobody absolutely wanted to escape. Listening to the singing of the worship hymns, amidst such severe situation, produced a sudden interest in all the listeners in such a way that many gave their lives to God (v. 33).
Today, try the overwhelming results of the power of singing. Many feel freedom and calmness while singing hymns and voicing their praises to God.