The healing power of music — a conductor's perspective

Alastair Willis

"You could say, that as a conductor, music is my life - I'm in the business of music,” said Alastair in this chat. “But I often ask myself - is there more to life than this?” In response to that question, he’s broadened his job description to “being in the business of Harmony (capital 'H'). By this I mean I'm finding more ways to give - not just on the podium but off it, too - seeing harmony in the workplace, on the way to the work place, defusing inharmonious situations, healing.”

During the chat, Alastair talks about the importance of harmony and the power of Christian Science to renew people’s lives. Besides sharing some of his own experiences, he clarifies the story of Mary Alice Dayton who reportedly had a spinal injury that was healed as she wrote the words to Hymn 51 in the Christian Science Hymnal. Alastair responds to questions like “Do you think the effect of music is mainly related to a composer, to the performer, or to the receptive listener? How do you maintain your own inner stillness in the face of lots of travel, the need to work with many different people, etc.? How do you establish trust with an orchestra that doesn’t know you? I have never been able to carry a tune. What should I do?

Enjoy 1 free Sentinel article or audio program each month, including content from 1898 to today.

We'd love to hear from you!

Easily submit your testimonies, articles, and poems online.