What is great about the omnipotent ingredient of music is that music is the juice that can make it all work together: cognitive and social development, motivation and emotional engagement, and mindfulness and well-being.
My hope is that, after the glitter and glamor of Grammy week has faded, the spotlight can continue to shine bright on, and draw the world's attention to music's critical role in these other areas of our lives and society.
Why are music and the arts still looked upon as extra-curricular activities to basic elementary education? Why does the idea of funding these programs fall under the heading of charity or philanthropy?
We are desperately in need of a new kind of music appreciation program -- one that offers everyone the "why" of music, impresses upon us its deeper values, and helps people better understand how we can most effectively harness its tremendous benefits and better integrate those into our daily lives.
Music is one of our most powerful gateways to connect to our spiritual nature -- our divine source -- the unseen, as well as to the universe around us and those other divine beings that inhabit it with us.
I see music as an essential component for the conscious awakening of the human race and the well-being of our planet. Music can help us as individuals to better cope with these external challenges and inspire us as a global community to come together in a more harmonious fashion.
Although genres in music may be useful in helping us organize our song libraries, like any labels -- racial, cultural, artistic or spiritual -- genres can limit the potential to staying open to more encompassing visions and a greater sense of personal connection.
Music can help stimulate our imagination, one of the key components of the creative process. Listening to a song we love or fully immersing ourselves in a piece of beautiful music can shift our mood, create images in our mind, impact our limbic brain and open us up to new ideas.
I can't help but wonder how many children are denied music education in America, either because it is unavailable, unaffordable or they are determined unworthy. It is both an injustice to our children and a threat to our future.
Whether we using music as a source of joy and inspiration, a medicine for healing deep wounds, a therapy for physical rehabilitation, or a lifeline for surviving trauma and loss, music is undeniably one of mankind's greatest healing modalities.
During a television interview following the recording, the show's host asked me this essential question: "In a region wrought with a history of so much war and hatred, can a song really make a difference?" My response was, "If music can't make a difference, I don't know what can."
I find playing music to be one of my strongest personal therapies, not only from the state of being I can achieve while playing, but also from the energetic balancing and mood-enhancing effect on my mind, body and spirit throughout the day.