My View, Mel Hewitt - Hearing the sounds of peace

St John's Hospice Community Fundraiser Mel Hewitt
St John's Hospice Community Fundraiser Mel Hewitt

I had the joy last week of travelling down to London to see Kate Bush in concert. I won’t spoil it for anyone who is lucky enough to have a ticket and hasn’t been yet, but it was incredible. I’m still coming down from the experience and will hopefully carry on enjoying the positive and uplifting impact it has had on me for a while yet.

Sitting in the traffic on Cantley Lane has become a more chilled, positive experience with Kate’s voice and beautifully crafted songs as the soundtrack.

So what is it about the right music at the right time that can make such a difference? As William Congreve wrote in his play The Mourning Bride, ‘Music has charms to soothe a savage breast’.

Even babies in the womb can hear music after about 27 weeks, with recent research suggesting babies do actually remember tunes they heard before they were born. My ‘birthing’ tape compiled when I was expecting my son Geoffrey, included Mozart’s clarinet concerto. He is now a composer, so maybe the connection was made then!

It doesn’t have to be Mozart – everyone has their own definition of soothing and calming music.

I know when I used to suffer migraines a particular compilation of classical music used to help my recovery. By the time I got to the Bruch violin concerto things just felt so much better.

When you think about it music, perhaps more than any other medium, brings back memories and at times an overwhelming sense of nostalgia.

It often marks the most important days of our lives. To this day whenever I hear We have all the time in the World sung by Louis Armstrong it takes me right back to my wedding day, recapturing the feeling and warmth of the day – even though it was December!

Music isn’t just the food of love as Shakespeare so brilliantly put it, it is really for many reasons the food of life. Its power can go beyond the notes written on the page and we are all made richer by the experience of sharing it with other people, whether as artists or audience.

John Lennon’s Imagine is a composition that has for decades now been associated with peace.

This weekend an event to mark the International Day of Peace will also be raising money for the hospice.

Healthy Mind Healthy Life, a company based in St Catherine’s House, Woodfield Park, off Tickhill Road, Balby, is running a peace event on Sunday, September 21 from 11.30am until 1.30pm in the community hall at Woodfield Park.

Everyone is welcome. Entry is free but participants will be asked for a donation to the St John’s Hospice Appeal. The event will cover meditation, poetry and music – all on the topic of peace.

If you would like more information please contact Ceri Goode on 0752 1516690. As always, if you have any ideas for fundraising you would like to discuss or are planning an event please contact me, Mel, on 01302 798391.

* Mel Hewitt, Community fundraiser for St John’s Hospice, Doncaster