What Is a Music Portrait?

Original music inspired by real people.

John Albert Thomas composed his first Music Portrait for his wife, Rebecca, shortly after their marriage in 1996. Several years later, in 2009, he envisioned Music Portraits as an ideal way to honor others using his musical gifts.

In 2011, John self-produced an album, Now I Sleep, which contains ten music portraits to honor ten families who lost an infant. Since then many infant loss bereavement ministries and hospitals have used his music portraits to bring healing to other grieving families. This was a great success in that it proved that original music can be a powerful way to honor and remember someone.

In 2018, John teamed up with watercolor artist, Sandi Dawn, to create artwork for Music Portraits. The pairing of piano and watercolor art has proven to be a beautiful, creative expression that truly honors each Music Portrait recipient.

Hear Music Portraits and read the stories that inspired them

How do I create a Music Portrait?

The first thing I do is contact the recipient directly. Then I conduct a phone or video interview with them to meet them, listen to their story, and ask questions to help me get a deeper sense of their heart. Then I take my notes to the piano and use those thoughts and emotions to craft a musical work that is truly inspired by them.

What happens when a Music Portrait is released?

You can imagine the feelings that the recipient experiences when they hear their song for the first time on Spotify, Apple Music, Google, etc. Their story spreads throughout the world as the music is downloaded and streamed for decades to come.

Letter from John regarding Music Portraits

Hello, my friend!

I believe that music is a powerful tool for reaching hearts with the truth of worth, the purpose of living, and hope for healing.

I want to share something with you that you may not know, or you may not believe it yet. Ready?

God made you unique and amazing, and he has a purpose for your life.

Do you believe it?
Do you feel it?

There’s something else…

When Jesus Christ left the glories of heaven to come to earth over 2000 years ago, he was making a bold statement: You are worth more to me than heaven itself.

You are worth more than you know.

But here is the sad reality…

Some people don’t believe it.
Many people don’t think about it.
Most people don’t feel it.

Perhaps you know someone who doesn’t believe it or feel it.
Perhaps they were treated in a way that made them feel less than others.
They grew to believe that they aren’t valuable after all.
They certainly do not feel worthy of love from God or others.

Music Portraits are created for them!

Music Portraits recognizes the worth of each person and honors them by creating original music and art inspired by them.

Over the past 20 years, I have released several piano albums and singles. In 2011, I released Now I Sleep, an album containing ten piano works inspired by ten families who lost an infant.

While I caught a glimpse of the power of music to help with grieving, it wasn’t until 2017 that I discovered that God would actually use my music for healing. Please read the recent testimony of a Music Portrait recipient:


I’m doing a little reflecting on the two years since I first heard my song, and Andy and I are amazed. We are both so grateful for this pivot in my life, and for the support you’ve been to both of us. The road I’m on is far from easy, but it is a long, long way from where I was two years ago. I’ve had the courage to fight my way to better health, to make medical decisions requiring more self-advocacy than I ever imagined I had within me. I’m doing art that is bolder and truer of me, and not so timid – and it speaks to people in inspiring ways. I really believe this is because of your relentless commitment to speaking the truth of my God-given worth to me – and to God be the glory for all of it. For moving in your heart, for moving in my heart, for giving me just enough light to believe the truth of the things you’ve been saying. To God be the glory for giving me courage, and also support when my courage failed. For giving me unwavering grace as I try out these steps of worth-based living, so awkwardly at first.

There have been a few days when I played my song softly on repeat all day, and as a comfort throughout some dark nights of the soul. It calls to me and reminds me that, even when I feel I am not worth it, there is a Song with my name on it that tells me otherwise. That Song is Jesus, and I believe He sings Light of Dawn over me during both my brightest days and darkest nights.

Thank you for the blessing and gift of this. If I can be involved in creating opportunities for others to receive such a blessing the way I have, please let me help.

Warmly and gratefully,

Sandi Dawn

Here is Sandi’s song:

Sandi’s transformation floored me as I witnessed God working in real-time through my music and the message of worth.

My purpose is to use creativity to help people feel their worth and enjoy wholeness in their God-given design.

Thank you so much for reading this far, and for your interest in Music Portraits. I have answered some common questions below, but please contact me if you would like more information.

Gratefully yours,
John Albert Thomas

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