Awakened By Music

What will we be singing years from now? by Kevin Butler

and able to recall memories. Dr.

Sacks explains:
“A new documentary, Alive In- “Music imprints itself on the

If I hadn’t seen the short video side, follows the ‘awakening’ that brain deeper than any other human myself I might not have believed occurs when people suffering from experience. Music evokes emotion it. A recent TIME magazine article memory loss and Alzheimer’s are and emotion can bring with it mem-

by Aylin Zafar explains:
“To watch Henry—an elderly man

who has spent over ten years in a nursing home, barely able to answer yes or no questions—come alive when listening to music from his past is a reminder of the powerful, inspiring, and affecting power of music.

given music they have a strong emotional connection to—often, music they grew up with. In the clip, Henry is barely responsive before one of his caretakers puts head- phones on him and starts up one of his favorite tunes. Almost instantly, we see Henry swaying from side to

side and singing, his eyes wide open.”

When I watched that video clip, I had a hard time believing it was the same man. It’s a fascinating and almost miraculous transformation.

The article then quotes neurologist Oliver Sacks, author of Musicophilia. Dr. Sacks is involved with the documentary. “The philosopher Kant once called mu- sic the ‘quickening art.’ And Henry is being quickened, he’s being brought to life.”

After they take the headphones off, Henry is still excited

ory… Music brings back the feeling of life when nothing else can.”

How often has a hymn or praise song “transported” you back to the church of your childhood, or a spe- cial time when the Lord’s Spirit filled you to overflowing? (And we know that HE can bring back the feeling
of life when nothing else can.)

When the current Sabbath Re- corder Committee suggested hold- ing a hymn contest, I nearly dismis- sed the idea with “we’ve already done that.” Yes, we did; but that was 20 years ago! A whole new gen- eration of worshipers and musicians has a chance to contribute to our anthology.

I’m happy to share with you the entries to this year’s Sabbath Hymn and Praise Song Contest. We’ve posted the audio files (and one video) at our website: www. Click on “Sabbath Song Contest” in the Resources box found in the lower right corner.

My prayer is that Seventh Day Baptists continue to nurture our special (and disproportionately blessed) gift of music—the “quick- ening art”—to exalt the Lord and awaken each other for years to come.

Clip to Evernote