How Music Can Soothe the Soul During Illness

From Denise Rich, The Wall Street Journal:

Music has been a part of my life for as long as I can remember. As a child, I played games and re-wrote existing songs for fun. Music was always a great source of joy for me and became my lifeline, but I never realized it could also become my career.

I taught myself to play guitar in college. After that, when I was living in Spain, I learned Spanish guitar and began writing songs in Spanish, French, and English. I am a non-confrontational person by nature, so I always found it easier to communicate my deepest thoughts and feelings to my friends and family through my songs.

My older sister, who was very sick and dying of cancer, supported my early career as a songwriter and encouraged me to pursue it head-on. I entered a song competition and to my delight, won two lyric awards! This fueled me to start writing more. I made what we called a “bathroom tape” (great acoustics!) with three songs on it and sent them out to 90 music publishing companies. One wrote back and told me if I would write one more song, they would do an act. I fell asleep on a plane and a song came to me in a dream. I sang it into my recorder and that one song became my first #1 hit, “Frankie,” which was recorded by Sister Sledge and produced by Nile Rogers. I know this song was a gift from my sister who had passed. I realized then that the angels were helping me write and I believe they still do.

Continue reading the rest of the story on The Wall Street Journal