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Waking the Spirit: A Musician's Journey Healing Body, Mind, and Soul Paperback – August 1, 2017
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"Earnest but affable memoir....He talks with neuroscientists and psychiatrists and explores the legacy of Pythagoras, the ancient Greek mathematician and philosopher who was among the first to recognize the healing properties of music. Along the way, Schulman posits that the relationship between the pain we feel and the songs and compositions we love has its roots in a tender, transcendent form of symbiosis." ―Meghan Daum, The New York Times Book Review
"Waking the Spirit is an inspiring story that teaches many important spiritual lessons, but the principal one is that to give thanks, you have to give. By healing others, he healed himself. You will never listen to music in the same way again.” ―John Kralik, author of 365 Thank Yous
"An inspiring personal story of the ageless power of music to comfort and to heal supported with plentiful compelling scientific evidence.” ―Caroline Stoessinger, author of A Century of Wisdom
"Andrew Schulman has chronicled his amazing journey in a book that should be read by everyone, not only by doctors, caregivers and musicians. 'Waking the Spirit' recounts Andrew's own miraculous recovery in an ICU when he was literally brought back to life. His profound discoveries related to healing and self healing through music will astound the reader. As a classical guitarist and composer I have witnessed music's power to heal, but nothing as dramatic as what the author, facing death, has been able to reveal.” ―Liona Boyd, author of In My Own Key: My Life in Love and Music
"In the grand tradition of Oliver Sacks' Musicophilia: Tales of Music and the Brain, Schulman cannily narrates stories of the ways that music can bring healing not only to the broken spirit but also to the broken body." ―No Depression, Journal of Roots Music
"Inspirational." ―Publishers Weekly
"Great new book on power of music in medicine by Andrew Schulman. A must read.” ―Kate Edgar, Oliver Sacks Foundation
“Waking the Spirit is full of hope and wonders. Andrew Schulman has as light a touch with his pen as he does when he picks up his guitar. I think the world has been waiting for this book.”―Bill McGlaughlin, Host and music director of the public radio programs Exploring Music and Saint Paul Sunday
"A very educational and uplifting look at music therapy from a world class musician." ―The Help Desk
"With a winning combination of anecdotal bedside stories, personal experience, and the research of neuroscientists, neuromusicologists, and fellow musicians, [professional guitarist Schulman] offers evidence of the calming, stabilizing, and synchronous ('entrainment') physical effects music therapy can have on a patient’s nervous system, pain, and overall health. . . An inspirational testament to the limitless benefits of music and its role in health care." ―Kirkus Reviews
About the Author
ANDREW SCHULMAN is the resident musician in the Critical Care Units at NYU Langone Medical Center in New York City and Berkshire Medical Center in Pittsfield, Massachusetts. He is the founder and artistic director of the Abaca String Band, which has performed throughout the United States. He is also a solo guitarist and has appeared at Carnegie Hall, The Royal Albert Hall in London, the White House, and the Improv Comedy Club. Andrew lives in New York City with his wife, Wendy, and their dog, Phoebe. He is the author of Waking the Spirit: A Musician's Journey Healing Body, Mind, and Soul.
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I am glad that his wife Wendy on a whim decided to see if music could get through to Andrew during the crisis. Fate had it that the piece Andrew heard on his iPod when she put the earbud in Andrew's ear during the crisis had strong associations in his life, and surprisingly - or not so really! - it brought him back to this world.
That being said, this book not only presents the gripping drama surrounding the crisis, it also provides a very deep background on the history of the effects of music on the brain, with Andrew's experiences as a medical musician being the center of focus. It is presented in prose worthy of the late Oliver Sacks, but uniquely in Andrew's voice. This book is also testament to how associations to music embedded in one's mind can be extremely powerful.
My only complaint was that the book was far too short! I sincerely hope Andrew continues his exploration into the connection between the brain and music, since this is fertile ground in terms of groundbreaking research across cultural barriers.
I found some of the music that he referenced including Bernstein's recording of the St. Matthew Passion and understood Andrew’s world. I had drifted away from music and was reminded how much it had touched me in the past. I am fortunately healthy but perhaps Andrew has also brought music back into my life. A beautiful book, a wonderful author - with luck you will be touched and moved as I was.
This book was a great validation to the healing power of music. The story was so fascinating. Each scene in the book was not only interesting but throughout the book, you learned so much. Definitely a great read, an inspiring story and wonderfully written!