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How Simple Songs Bring Peace To The Dying

Courtesy of Threshold Singers.
Threshold Singers performing a private concert.


This story originally aired on March 31, 2018.

Aside from being born, one of the most personal, private things we do alone is to die. Death can be quick. It can also creep along, getting closer as each day passes, as the hours tick by.


Most of us would never think of entering the room of a stranger who is actively dying, unless you’re there to care for that person, or they are a close friend or a family member.


But, this is what groups of singers do all over the country. They are called Threshold Singers.


They perform these private little concerts of simple songs in hospital and hospice rooms to try and bring some peace to the dying.


“The power of the human voice is amazing," says Rosemary Pinneo with the Threshold Singers of South Puget Sound.."And it touches people on a vibrational level and it’s live, it’s so different from recorded music because we can adjust to the tempo, we can adjust to the softness, we can change songs if we need to if that song is not having the desired effect. It just sounds different, feels different, and we hope it touches people the way we are touched.”


In this story, we’ll tag along with the Threshold Singers of South Puget Sound to visit a few patients at Franciscan Hospice in Fircrest, Washington


Jennifer Wing is a former KNKX reporter and producer who worked on the show Sound Effect and Transmission podcast.