This is the latest video about Musicorps, a program that gives (often very severely) wounded combat veterans the opportunity to play music. It’s the creation of a wunderkind in Washington DC named Arthur Bloom, a Juliard prodigy who has performed with some very famous musicians and written some very successful compositions, including movie scores. He took his profits and put them into Musicorps, which maybe, just maybe, is beginning to attract the attention it deserves.
A few years ago a nasty Washington Post journalist won a Pulitzer for writing about the things that go wrong at Walter Reed Hospital. I called it a classic example of reportage in which the facts are correct, but the story is false. Yes, things certainly go wrong at Walter Reed. Hell, they even go wrong at the Post. But miracles are performed at Walter Reed, where lives are saved, limbs are replaced, and, as in Musicorps, sometimes souls are freed from conditions that might very easily enslave them.
There’s a substantial literature about the curative power of music, but mostly it’s about listening to music. Arthur Bloom knows more: that playing music can truly liberate the suffering, and transform their lives. Some of these guys play rock, or country and western, or heavy metal. Others play the classics. Arthur has one guy who fell in love with Beethoven, and spends hours a day at the piano playing Beethoven, despite injuries that make the enterprise amazing. That guy was in a very dark depression. Playing Beethoven at Walter Reed brought him back to us.
Watch the video. It will inspire you, I know. And there are plenty more. Before the Feds get all your spare change, send a bit to Musicorps. It’s soul music.