Grateful Dead drummer Mickey Hart once said, “there’s nothing like music to relieve the soul and uplift it.”
My feelings about music are similar to how I feel about writing — it can change your mood, inspire, motivate, and relieve the soul. Music does so many things for so many people. The world would be a quieter, boring place without it.
Ever notice how you can be in a mood, good or bad, and hear a song and instantly you are somewhere else and afterward feeling something else?
There’s nothing like hearing your favorite or an “oldie but goodie” song on the radio. In my case it’s one I haven’t heard in a long time, but can take me right back to what I was doing, who I was with and in some cases when I first heard it.
It maybe cheesy now, but back in the day (the mid-90s) “MMMBop” by Hanson was the jam. It was catchy and it always takes me back to my time in London. I traveled there in high school on a trip with the Spanish and French clubs. We toured London, Paris and Madrid. Every little London shop had “MMMBop” in the background. Nothing takes me back to that time quite like hearing that song (not the food, smells or even the pictures).
I’m one of those people who don’t want to hear a sad song when I’m sad. I want to feel uplifted. I want to change my mood. My songs of choice are — “Glory” by Marvin Sapp, “Better Days” by Anthony Brown & Group Therapy, “Rather Be” by Clean Bandit featuring Jess Glynne.
Those songs just do it for me — the lyrics, the beat, the feelings I get from them. They are my instant mood changers.
As a writer I often get “writer’s block” and I don’t know what to say or how to say it. I could free write, but that just doesn’t always work for me, or I could just meditate or “empty my mind,” but who am I kidding? I don’t want an empty mind, I want thoughts, phrases and actions.
A trick I learned over the years is to let music drive me to create. Now I’ve heard some say it’s distracting and at times it can be, but sometimes a good song can inspire words to flow from your pen or the keyboard. When I was in elementary school and high school I needed a quiet space to write and at some point along the way I needed noise — music to be exact. A good song can give you the next page for an English term paper or in my case lately, the next line of a blog post.
My husband plays the drums and is learning to play the keyboard and at some point in the near future he has plans to move to the guitar. He’s an introvert and I tell you that because music is his relief. It’s the words he may not say or the emotions he may not express. He doesn’t read sheet music, but he plays by ear. I can often hear him tapping the keys, where he’ll either play along with a song he knows or just strings cords together that he created.
Music can calm the soul and losing yourself in it can change your situation or at the least your outlook on that situation.
It’s the same concept in a spa. No one goes to a spa for the music, but it’s a major part in how they feel afterward and the experience they have while there.
I know music will continue to be apart of our household even when this little nugget is out of the womb.