Tag Archives: Music therapy

Healing Music for the Heart and Soul

7 Nov

My Take

DiVoran Lites

In 1963, We settled in Titusville, Florida. We liked Park Avenue Church, where family groups formed. Dwayne and his sweet wife Jenny taught us many wonderful songs in ours. Not long ago, Dwayne said he was grateful for the grand piano at the hospital because of the practice that makes it easier for him to play when he needs to. (God has given him a dear second wife.

Reporter Flora Reigada interviewed our friend for a local paper. The blue headline below is a link to the article in Senior Life Newsletter where you may read the entire article.




Parrish Medical Center has continued its free piano concerts, which were paused during the pandemic. Each Wednesday, pianist Dwayne Crouse plays hymns, classic selections, and love songs to relax those waiting for diagnostic tests. 

Pianist Dwayne Crouse could not resist seeing a piano just sitting there and no one playing it. So he has volunteered to play it, bringing back regular live piano concerts to Parrish Medical Center’s atrium, which had been stopped during the coronavirus pandemic. 

The free concerts are from ten a. m. to noon on Wednesdays.

“One listener requested a love song, then she sat beside me and sang along.”

                            —Dwayne Crouse

Although he and his current wife, Lisa, have residences in Titusville and North Carolina, Crouse considers Titusville home.

“It is where my late wife and I lived for 50 years and raised our children,” he said ….

 More of Flora Reigada’s reporting can be found at Senior Life Newspaper, Viera Voice.

DiVoran has been writing for most of her life. Her first attempt at a story was when she was seven years old and her mother got a new typewriter. DiVoran got to use it and when her dad saw her writing he asked what she was writing about. DiVoran answered that she was writing the story of her life. Her dad’s only comment was, “Well, it’s going to be a very short story.” After most of a lifetime of writing and helping other writers, DiVoran finally launched her own dream which was to write a novel of her own. She now has her Florida Springs trilogy and her novel, a Christian Western Romance, Go West available on Amazon. When speaking about her road to publication, she gives thanks to the Lord for all the people who helped her grow and learn.  She says, “I could never have done it by myself, but when I got going everything fell beautifully into place, and I was glad I had started on my dream.”

Music and Me-Part 6

2 May


Judy Wills

I loved to sing…as I’ve mentioned in previous musings.  And while my favorite way to sing was in groups – trios, choirs, mixed groups – I did occasionally sing solos.  As I sang, I usually had the copy of the music in front of me, “just in case…”  Well, it was a good thing I did, because once, as I was beginning a solo, the intro had been played, and I opened my mouth to sing…and the words had completely left my memory!!  The pianist continued to play as I scrambled to look down at the music to find my place.  I was so totally embarrassed by that, that my confidence was forever shattered.  I never again did a solo without the music “just in case” – it was always there to support me.

I’ve mentioned that I sang with wives groups at all the military bases where we were stationed.  I sang with a wives group in Wiesbaden, West Germany, and later with the wives group in Heidelberg.  Unfortunately, while in Heidelberg, the pianist for the group had rotated back stateside with her family, and they needed a pianist/accompanist more than a singer, so that’s what I did.  I remember once we did a fun number (sorry, I can’t remember the name of the song we did), and about halfway through the song, was a piano interlude.  The director thought it would be a fun touch for the accompanist to stand up and play that piano interlude.  So when it came to that part – I actually stood up, Cheshire-cat-smiled at the audience (and winked at them) and played the music standing up!  It got a good laugh from the audience!

Last week I posted a picture of the entire music program at my home church in Albuquerque, New Mexico. 

Photo credit First Baptist Church, Albuquerque

First Baptist Church, Albuquerque, New Mexico

 While that picture included the children, there were over 60 adults in that choir…no small thing. 

(Please see my post of February 21, 2016 – The Cruise of a Lifetime – Part 4.  We met Richard and Judy Bradford on that cruise, and he was the Minister of Music at my home church in Albuquerque in the 1970’s!)

When Fred and I first married, we moved to Fort Worth, Texas, for Fred to attend Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary.

Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary – Rotunda

We joined Travis Avenue Baptist Church while there, and became members of the choir.

Travis Avenue Baptist Church, Fort Worth, Texas Photo credit Google search and website

It was a great choir, and we had some amazing directors.  There were probably 80-100 members of the adult choir at that church.  We had some classically trained voices, and the first director was a voice teacher at the Seminary.  However, other directors who followed her were also great.  The one we sang under the most was Bill Pearson.  I remember we did The Seven Last Words of Christ,

Photo credit Google search and Biblio .com

and later a musical called God’s Trombones.

credit Google search and Amazon.com

That was so much fun to do – Bill had the choir members scattered throughout the sanctuary.  Someone had a large handbell, and when it began to toll, we got up, one or two at a time, and made our way to the choir loft.  And then we sang.  It is a wonderful piece of music, that would probably be considered “politically incorrect” in today’s world, unfortunately.

~~~~~~~~~~To Be Continued~~~~~~~~~~

Judy is living in Central Florida with her retired U.S. Air Force husband of 50+ years. Born in Dallas, Texas, she grew up in the Southwestern United States.She met her husband at their church, where he was attending the university in her town. After college and seminary, he entered the Air Force, and their adventures began.They lived in eight of our United States, and spent six years in Europe, where their oldest daughter was born. She was a stay-at-home mom for many years .

  Judy has always been involved with music, both playing the piano and singing. Always interested in exercise, she was an aerobic dancing instructor, as well as a piano teacher for many years, and continues to faithfully exercise at home.

After moving to Central Florida, she served as a church secretary for nearly nine years.Her main hobby at this point in time is scanning pictures and 35mm slides into the computer. She also enjoys scrapbooking.She and her husband have two married daughters and four grandchildren, including grandtwins as well as a great-grandson. She and her husband enjoy the Disney parks as often as possible.

Mozart, Wherefore Art Thou?

3 Sep

My Take

 DiVoran Lites

One day at the bookstore, I saw a book called, Your Playlist Can Change Your Life. The subtitle: 10 proven ways your favorite music can revolutionize your health, memory, organization, alertness and more. It sounded like the all-purpose snake medicine of previous centuries. I bought the book and it’s a great book and a satisfying concept because I LOVE MUSIC, I need it. I crave it. If I don’t get it, I go searching for it.

You see, I struggle with moodiness and I’ve had a campaign for years to combat it in any way I can. My first line of defense is to read the Bible. That always lifts me. I spend time listening to the Holy Spirit and I journal every morning literally getting things off my mind. I like to walk, read, paint, write, sing and be with family and friends. One big help in my battle against the blues is to stop berating myself or in popular parlance, stop beating myself up. Yes, I cook, do laundry, etc. Everything goes better with music.

By the time I use all my little tricks, I’m ready to enjoy life, except for problems, which I’m now prepared to ignore. However, with all my playing around, one tiny corner of my life was falling apart.

It about did me in when the classical station turned into talk radio. My CD players were always breaking down from overuse. Where had all the music gone? I had almost despaired when along came an iPod and Pandora streaming radio. I know, I’m probably already old-fashioned, but I’m stopping here for a while in my drive to keep up with technology.

I placed the music from some of my favorite CDs on the iPod and I use those when I can’t listen to Pandora. However, Pandora is it for painting and writing. When I first signed up, I was allowed 100 radio stations. One Hundred?!? I’ll never want that many, but of course now I do, in fact, if I want to try a new one I have to delete one I’ve already got, and it’s hard to choose.

My current favorite is Dan Gibson Radio. Mr. Dan and his friends have forests, seas, birds, and frogs in their recording studio along with many wonderful instruments that play calm and blissful music.

Sometimes, though, if I am running on empty, I click on Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart Radio. You’ve seen, “Mozart for Baby,” CDs. You’ve read how some classical music makes the left and right brain work together. It’s all true. If I need to be revived, and energized, Mozart does the job. I also like Alexander Desplat the composer of soundtracks for, “Julie and Julia,” and, “The King’s Speech” (good, clean movies by the way).

Sometimes I like jazz and sometimes I like Jay and Molly Unger Their music makes me feel as if I’m at a dos-si-do dance wearing a fluffy dress and swinging with my partner. I dance in the kitchen, so does our friend, Patricia Franklin. Do you?

The Claude Debussy station seems to fit almost any occasion. One of the things I like best, if I’m not trying to use my brain for writing or reading is, “Amazing Grace Station,” where I can sing along to the songs in my Baptist Hymnal. Music is back in my life and I love it. Oh, don’t forget, Chet Atkins, Floyd Cramer, and all those kinds of guys. Bill and I like to listen to those together.

Colossians 3:16

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