My colleague Aita Passmore alerted me to this beautiful video, which shows a nearly completely unresponsive old man in a nursing home coming back to himself when he hears music that he loved as a younger man. Watch through for his crooning rendition of “I’ll Be Home for Christmas.”
Ilana Rubenfeld, the founder of our Method, started out as a Julliard-trained symphonic conductor – one of the only women in the field at the time. It was music – and the rigors of conducting – that brought her to Alexander Technique, then to therapy, and then to the entire world that led her to develop this modality. In her sessions, she still uses her music background to listen to the body’s messages; it is not for nothing that her book is called The Listening Hand, and that we Synergists work to develop listening hands ourselves. Music is the natural language of humans, and there seems to be nothing that goes so directly to our spirits and identities as music that we love.
Not every Synergist relates completely to this idea of the body’s music, or the idea of “listening” hands; some experience the work as more related to sight, or touch, or even smell. But it’s amazing to see from time to time the way music can so powerfully resonate – there’s a sound-related word for you! – with a human being we’d thought was lost to us.