Friday, July 29, 2016

Lori Dixon in Harmony with…….“The Beat of Life”

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 Written by Sherryl Craig
For Women of Music Music of Women

Lori Dixon has been in love with music most all her life. It was something she did because she loved it.
Lori, Hannah, and Joshua
Lori, Hannah, and Joshua

There are many special things in her life… and music plays, or has played, a huge part in it. First she is a proud mom to two amazing children. Her 18 yr old daughter Hannah and her 14 yr old son Joshua, who by the way is a bright and thriving videograher. She studied Environmental Science and Animal Behavior, studied Education at Trevecca Nazarene University, and has been a teacher, a zookeeper and curator.
Lori is also a singer/songwriter and a devoted mentor in a program close to her heart called “The Beat of Life.” It is through this program that she’s using that love of music to make another passion a reality.. Helping those in need by sharing with them the healing gift of music.
IMG_7633Lori’s medicine is a non-profit called “The Beat of Life” and it is such an amazing project, with a large number of talented people from through out the various communities giving of themselves to help others in need. The project consists of teams of accomplished musicians and singer/songwriters that work with individual groups, like adults challenged with illnesses of various kinds, those challenged in the legal system, children struggling with abuse and/or bullying, and then take these real life situations turning them into compelling and thought-provoking songs.
Local artists and other supporters we want to mention who give of their time are Steve Bryant, Billy Dawson, Adam Wood who wrote the theme song for “The Beat of Life” called The Music Came Back, Jeni Dominelli the Founder and CEO of The Beat of Life, and dear friend and artist who performs with Lori in various locations PJ Ju, newly transplanted to Nashville from New York.
Lori Dixon
Lori Dixon

Music is such a huge part of her life and has always been so. She performs locally in Nashville and shares her exceptional talents with country music fans as often as she cans. Her passion for music is what helped give her son Joshua, the ability to gain language skills he needed due to autism. During a special project Lori met a gentleman by the name of Dan Harrel, or maybe you know him better as “Cowboy Dan.. It was Cowboy Dan’s CD’s that intrigued Joshua and through listening to them he was able to learn melodiously how to pronounce his words, even by singing them.
~ “With music we can change the world, help children challenged with disabilities and struggles.” Lori Dixon, 2016 ~
IMG_6906“The Beat of Lifetouches many areas in it’s musical out reach. Lori and the dedicated group of volunteers visit local corrections facilities for men and women and bring the prisoners into the craft of writing songs, “Redemption Songs”, from their own life experiences. Support like one of their own most valuable players, Steve Bryant Chief Operating Officer for The Beat of Life. The songs are used as music therapy to help those incarcerated in using their life experiences to heal and recover. They would then apply the results of music therapy to being able to once again join the community in a positive way. The program has worked so well that there have talks about expanding it further and in to other facilities.
The anti-bullying program for children is called “Sing It to Stop It” and the songs are pulled from the stories that the children tell of how bullying has affected them. Country music artist and author Billy Dawson shares his anti-bullying book “You Never Know” and speaks to the youngsters about the importance of respect and love. Lyrics of the songs written will vary by the group and the age of the writer/authors.
~ “Music empowers others to tell their stories, music is some of the greatest medicine we could ever have.” Lori Dixon, 2016 ~
20160504_121141As Director of Programs, Lori knows the work that goes into this project helps to embolden those who have been brought down by many of life’s struggles and how to use it in a more positive way. This is an amazing project that has not only encouraged those in recovery, in abusive situations, and struggling with low self esteem or bullying to take back their lives, but to use their words to create a musical expression that would encourage healing. The writers round/space where all the magic happens is called The Workshop and you can check it out here; http://www.theworkshopmusic.com/
All the various areas of work with this project is humbling to think of but “Beautiful Minds” is especially close to me because of my own work in mental health. I was intrigued to find out more. Lori and the gang visit with those who are mentally challenged and write heart-warming and compelling songs from the stories of their challenges. The songs are all written right there while every one sits in a group and shares the stories of mountains they’ve climbed and valley’s they have walked through in life.
Plans for the future would be to plan a once a month writers round at local venues throughout Nashville, to continue helping local musicians in need through fund raisers, and to continue giving back new life through song to all those who need a little help healing with the programs through “The Beat of Life.” ~ Lori Dixon~
For more in formation on Lori Dixon and “The Beat of Life” you can visit the links below;
http://www.thebeatoflife.org/
https://www.facebook.com/lori.hamlett?fref=ts
*The material included in this article is the sole property of the writer, (Sherryl Craig,) and the photographer, (Cilene Bosch.) All elements may be used in other publications as determined by the owners. Permission must be obtained for reproduction.

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