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music and memory

What Can Music Do For Your Memory?

By Marcia Gloster, Author: 31 Days A Memoir of Seduction 

 “How is it that you suddenly wrote this book about music and memory?”

Marcia Gloster has been asked that question countless times in the last three years. Her answer is always the same; she can’t explain it and doesn’t understand it herself. Thanks to Psychiatrist Dr. Galina Mindlin, author of ‘Your Playlist Can Change Your Life,’ and Executive Director, Brain Music Treatment Center in NYC, the mystery has been explained.

In 1963, when Marcia was twenty, she spent a summer painting in Salzburg, Austria at the school of a famous European artist. Her instructor, a well-known English painter, was seventeen years her senior and highly seductive. Although she warned herself and was cautioned by others to stay away, she ended up in a deeply emotional affair with him. It became a life-changing experience but after many years, understanding it was a relationship she would never have, she tucked it away and life went on.

Decades later on a frigid winter day, as she entered a store she became aware of a song playing. It was unfamiliar, yet it evoked a flash–actually a vision of the first time she met her painter years before. Shocked and confused, she practically ran out of the store, realizing at the same time she suddenly had a name for a book and the first page.

She began to write compulsively, at the same time trying to comprehend what had happened to her. Then she met Dr. Mindlin.

Dr. Mindlin explained that something about that particular song had resonated with her, triggering her memory. Once that first, “visual” was unlocked, it was as if drawers began to burst open, one by one, creating a cascade of memories.

As Marcia wrote, she found herself laughing and crying and actually reliving her story. As she describes it, she was lighter, energized and in love with a fabulous memory from long, long ago.

According to Dr. Mindlin, “Marcia’s emotional memories were in a deep sleep for many years but never left her mind and that specific musical piece unleashed those memories in full force. Every person is different, and yet it is entirely likely and even probable that music can be a key to open untapped emotions and distant memories that the mind has been holding for years.”

music memory

Marcia Gloster spent her career as an award winning art director in publishing and advertising. Her first book, 31 Days: A Memoir of Seduction is the story of the powerful relationship that changed her life. She lives in New York City with her husband. She has one daughter and is about to become a grandmother. Visit her website

Christine Crosby

About the author

Christine is the co-founder and editorial director for GRAND Magazine. She is the grandmother of five and great-grandmom (aka Grandmere) to one. She makes her home in St. Petersburg, Florida.

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